Reinventing the Peabody Sisters

Reinventing the Peabody Sisters

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Whether in the public realm as political activists, artists, teachers, biographers, editors, and writers or in the more traditional role of domestic, nurturing women, Elizabeth Peabody, Mary Peabody Mann, and Sophia Peabody Hawthorne subverted rigid nineteenth-century definitions of women’s limited realm of influence. Reinventing the Peabody Sisters seeks to redefine this dynamic trio’s relationship to the literary and political movements of the mid nineteenth century. Previous scholarship has romanticized, vilified, or altogether erased their influences and literary productions or viewed these individuals solely in light of their relationships to other nineteenth-century luminaries, particularly men---Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Horace Mann. This collection underscores that each woman was a creative force in her own right. Despite their differences and sibling conflicts, all three sisters thrived in the rarefied---if economically modest---atmosphere of a childhood household that glorified intellectual and artistic pursuits. This background allowed each woman to negotiate the nineteenth-century literary marketplace and in the process redefine its scope. Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia remained linked throughout their lives, encouraging, complementing, and sometimes challenging each other’s endeavors while also contributing to each other’s literary work. The essays in this collection examine the sisters’ confrontations with and involvement in the intellectual movements and social conflicts of the nineteenth century, including Transcendentalism, the Civil War, the role of women, international issues, slavery, Native American rights, and parenting. Among the most revealing writings that the sisters left behind, however, are those which explore the interlaced relationship that continued throughout their remarkable lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587297175
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Publication date: 04/01/2006
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 296
File size: 472 KB

About the Author

Monika Elbert is professor of English at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Julie Hall is associate professor of English at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Katharine Rodier is professor of English at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction: Reinventing the Peabody Sisters 1. Conversations, Dialectic Discourse, andSelf-Representations This Is His—This Is My Mystery: The Common Journal of Nathanieland Sophia Hawthorne, 1842–1843 Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and the “Art” of Conversation Declaration and Deference: Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Mary PeabodyMann, and the Complex Rhetoric of Mediation 2. Politics on the Home Front At the Crisis of Our Fate: Sophia Peabody Hawthorne’s Civil WarCorrespondence Elizabeth Peabody on the “Temperament of the Colored Classes”:African Americans, Progressive History, and Education in a DemocraticSystem Like One Happy Family: Mary Peabody Mann’s Method for InfluencingReform Authorizing Sarah Winnemucca? Elizabeth Peabody and MaryPeabody Mann 3. Perspectives from Abroad Watery Angels: Sophia Peabody Hawthorne’s Artistic Argument inNotes in England and Italy Should Not These Things Be Known? Mary Mann’s Juanita and theLimits of Domesticity Queen of All I Surveyed: Sophia Peabody Hawthorne’s “Cuba Journal”and the Imperial Gaze Against the Cuba Guide: The “Cuba Journal,” Juanita, and TravelWriting 4.Transcendental Reconfigurations Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s Problematic Feminism and the Feminizationof Transcendentalism Transcendentalism for Children: Mary Peabody Mann’s The FlowerPeople Elizabeth Peabody and the Fate of Transcendentalism Epilogue: The Peabody Sisters as Sisters Contributors Index

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