American Women Writers

Showing 1-6 of 13 items.

The Essential Margaret Fuller by Margaret Fuller

Edited by Jeffrey Steele
Rutgers University Press

The leading feminist intellectual of her day, Margaret Fuller has been remembered for her groundbreaking work, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which recharted the gender roles of nineteenth-century men and women. In this new collection, the full range of her literary career is represented from her earliest poetry to her final dispatch from revolutionary Italy. For the first time, the complete texts of Woman in the Nineteenth Century and Summer on the Lakes are printed together, along with generous selections from Fuller's Dial essays, New York essays, Italian dispatches, and unpublished journals.

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American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century

Edited by Cheryl Walker
Rutgers University Press

This publication marks the first time in a hundred years that a wide range of nineteenth-century American women's poetry has been accessible to the general public in a single volume. Included are the humorous parodies of Phoebe Cary and Mary Weston Fordham and the stirring abolitionist poems of Lydia Sigourney, Frances Harper, Maria Lowell, and Rose Terry Cooke. Included, too, are haunting reflections on madness, drug use, and suicide of women whose lives, as Cheryl Walker explains, were often as melodramatic as the poems they composed and published.

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Moods by Louisa May Alcott

Edited by Sarah Elbert
Rutgers University Press

Sylvia Yule, the heroine of Moods, is a passionate tomboy who yearns for adventure.  The novel opens as she embarks on a river camping trip with her brother and his two friends, both of whom fall in love with her. These rival suitors, close friends, are modeled on Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Daniel Thoreau. Aroused, but still "moody" and inexperienced, Sylvia marries the wrong man. In the rest of the novel, Alcott attempts to resolve the dilemma she has created and leave her readers asking whether, in fact, there is a place for a woman such as Sylvia in a man's world.  

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'A New Home, Who Will Follow?' by Caroline Kirkland

Rutgers University Press

Set in the frontier of Michigan int he 1830s, A New Home is the first realistic portrayal of western village life in the United States. Based on Caroline Kirkland's own experiences - and written from a woman's perspective - it narrates with a keen eye and wit the absorbing story of the establishment of the village of Montacute, Michigan.

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"The Amber Gods" and Other Stories by Harriet Prescott Spofford

Rutgers University Press

A widely held vision of nineteenth-century American women is of lives lived in naive, domestic peace— the girls of Little Women making do until father comes home from the war. Nothing could be less true of Harriet Prescott Spofford's stories. In fact, her editor at the Atlantic Monthly at first refused to believe that an unworldly woman from New England had written them. Her style, though ornate by our 20th century standards, adds to its atmosphere, like heavy, Baroque furniture in a large and creepy house. The title story presents a self-centered and captivating woman who ruthlessly steals her orphan cousin's lover. In "Circumstance," a pioneer woman returning home through the woods at night is caught by a panther; her husband, who has come to save her, can only watch from the ground as she sings for her life, pinned in a tree. A train engineer hallucinates again and again that he is running over his wife. And Mrs. Craven, who's a bit "weak" in the head, mindlessly repeats "Three men went down cellar and only two came up." These stories combine elements of the best ghost stories—timing, detail, and character—with just enough chill to make you think twice about turning out your lights at night. 

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'The Lamplighter' by Maria Susanna Cummins

Edited by Nina Baym
Rutgers University Press

The Lamplighter was the first novel by twenty-seven-year-old Maria Susanna Cummins. It propelled her into a prominence that continued until her early death at the age of thirty-nine. A novel of female development, The Lamplighter is a woman's version of the quest story. Its heroine, Gerty, comes on the scene as a child abandoned in the slums of Boston. Rescued by the kindly lamplighter Trueman Flint, she learns to meet life with courage and honesty. The novel touched the hearts, validated the ideals, and assuaged the anxieties of a huge readership, and it remained continuously in print until the 1920s.

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