American Women Writers and the Work of History, 1790-1860
Rutgers University Press, 1995 - Literary Collections - 307 pages
Just as she helped launch the rediscovery of literary texts by American women writers, Nina Baym now uncovers the work of history performed by over 150 writers in over 350 texts. Here she explores a world of important writing unknown even to most specialists. The novels, poems, plays, textbooks, and travel narratives written by women between 1790 and the Civil War defy current theories of women's writing that stress a female domain of the private, homebound, and emotional. History is inarguably public in its nature and these women wrote it. In doing so, they challenged the imaginative and intellectual boundaries that divided domestic and public worlds. They claimed on behalf of all women the rights to know and to speak about the world outside the home, as well as to circulate their knowledge and opinions among the public. Their work helped shape the enormous public interest in history characteristic of the antebellum nation, and ultimately to forge our national identity in the history of the world. Nina Baym deftly outlines the master narrative of history implied in women's writings of this period, and discusses in a completely revisioned context the emergence of women's history in public discourse.
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The scene so quiet and peaceful ; shrines and crucifixes line the area where the
victims played their part ; and where thousands once rushed in to enjoy the
bloody spectacle , soldiers guard the entrance , that now visitors may enjoy the
Here then was the actual scene of so many of those most affecting incidents , so
pathetically described ... which I had ... and even now her dying exclamation is on
my lips , as I think on these tragic scenes ” ( Willard , Journal and Letters , 59 ) .
Scenes of lengthy but futile female vocality in historical novels show that women
were allotted the power of speech in earlier historical epochs precisely because
such epochs valued brute force , not the word . The word , the pen , Christ ...
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AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS AND THE WORK OF HISTORY, 1790-1860User Review - Kirkus
By revealing women's use of history in the making of it, Baym rebuts conventional wisdom about women's absence from national life in antebellum America. Baym (English/Univ. of Illinois, Champaign ... Read full review
Women as Students of History II
Maternal Historians Didactic Mothers
History from the Divine Point of View
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