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Negotiating Motherhood in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Negotiating Motherhood in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Hardback)

£110.00
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Synopsis

Returning to a foundational moment in the history of the American family, Negotiating Motherhood in Nineteenth-Century American Literature explores how various authors of the period represented the maternal role - an office that came to a new, social prominence at the end of the eighteenth century. By examining maternal figures in the works of diverse authors such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Sarah Piatt, this book exposes the contentious but fruitful negotiations that took place in the heart of the American sentimental era - negotiations about the cultural meanings of family, womanhood, and motherhood. This book, then, challenges critical constructions that figure American sentimentalism as a coherent, monolithic project, tied strictly to the forces of cultural conservatism. Furthermore, by exploring nineteenth-century challenges to conventional maternal ideology and by exposing gaps in the mythology of "ideal" motherhood, Negotiating Motherhood demonstrates that the icon of an American Madonna - a figure that still haunts America's imagination - never had an uncontested reign.

Transcending the boundaries of literary criticism, this work will be useful to feminist scholars and to those who are interested in the history of women's culture, the American mythology of family life, or the cultural construction of motherhood.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1800 to c 1900History & PoliticsRegional & national historyHistory of the Americas Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd Publication Date: 10/08/2007 ISBN-13: 9780415981040  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.  

Mary McCartin Wearn is an Assistant Professor of English at Macon State College. She has published articles on Adrienne Rich, Harriet Jacobs, and Sarah Piatt. Her research focuses on cultural constructions of motherhood, particularly in nineteenth-century America Literature.

More books by Mary McCartin Wearn

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