Cover

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Frontmatter

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

In preparing Julia Ward Howe's Laurence manuscript for publication, I have been lucky to have a diverse group of interlocutors to respond to my hypotheses about the significance of this narrative. These include Paula Bennett, Christopher Looby, Wendy Dasler Johnson, Valarie Ziegler, Janet Gray, Greg Eiselein, Kenny Marotta, Dave Barber, Walter Hesford, Sarah ...

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Speaking with the Voices of Others: Julia Ward Howe's Lawrence

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pp. ix-xliv

In 1865 Julia Ward Howe's beloved, versatile brother Sam Ward published a collection of poems, including one dedicated to his sister. The poem, titled "Metempsychosis," is in part an argument for the superiority of poetry to literal image as a way of preserving and transmitting the potent human spirit of past ages. Statues of great dead men give us "but traits"; actions ...

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A Note on the Text

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pp. xlv-xlvi

The "Laurence manuscript" is actually several manuscript fragments, written probably over a period of years in the late 1840s, possibly extending into the early 1850s. It was evidently envisioned as a single continuous narrative, although it is now impossible to say with certainty how Howe intended to pull the disparate pieces of the story together. Many segments ...

The Hermaphrodite

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Section 1

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pp. 1-90

[ . . . ] ration on the part of my parents, it was resolved to invest me with the dignity and insignia of manhood, which would at least permit me to choose my own terms in associating with the world, and secure to me an independence of position most desirable for one who could never hope to become the half of another. I was baptized therefore by a masculine name,...

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Section 2

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pp. 91-160

At length, stepping timidly along from word to word, like one who crosses a brook upon stones slippery and uneven, I began to parse and to construe. I mastered by turns verses, Psalms and Chapters. I became ambitious of surprising Berto by the rapidity of my progress. I determined that my knowledge should one day equal, if not surpass his own. How far I might ...

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Section 3

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pp. 161-198

At this very period, and while our minds were still occupied with the singular experiences of Nina, I recalled to mind the vague mention made by Berto of a certain manuscript, the legacy, possibly the composition of the dead Uncle whose posthumous hospitality had given me shelter in my evil days. I bethought myself of it upon a quiet evening whose deepening shades had ...

Appendix 1

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pp. 199-202

Appendix 2

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pp. 203-208