Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Great Britain
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of New Hampshire Press
Title Page, Copyright
This book grew out of our shared belief that nineteenth-century American women writers and their works moved more fluidly around the North Atlantic world—and shaped and were shaped by this world more profoundly—than scholars have...
Introduction: Transatlantic Studies and American Women Writers
Nineteenth-century American women writers moved—culturally, intellectually, and geographically—in a transatlantic world. This collection of essays highlights and examines these literary and corporeal circulations. Great Britain was the nation most visited...
Part I: Tourism, Celebrity, & Reform: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Transatlantic Travel
1. A Flight from Home: Negotiations of Gender and Nationality in Frances Osgood’s Early Career
Frances Osgood built a career on both sides of the Atlantic as an ideal woman, the pinnacle of feminine grace and virtue. After the 1838 publication of her first book of poetry, A Wreath of Wild Flowers from New England, she achieved almost unprecedented...
2. Catharine Maria Sedgwick Tours England: Private Letters, Public Account
Catharine Maria Sedgwick was not just one of the first American women writers to publish a book about her travel abroad; in the first half of the nineteenth century, she was easily the most famous to do so.1 In May 1839, when she set sail from...
3. Margaret Fuller’s "New-York Tribune" Dispatches from Great Britain: Modern Geography and the Print Culture of Reform
After crossing the Atlantic in 1846 in the British steamship Cambria, Margaret Fuller remarks to her New-York Tribune readers that this was “the shortest voyage ever made across the Atlantic—only ten days and sixteen hours from Boston...
4. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Starring as Benevolent Celebrity Traveler
At an applause-filled public meeting on 15 April 1853, the Reverend Dr. (Ralph) Wardlaw effusively welcomed Harriet Beecher Stowe and other members of her family to Glasgow, Scotland.1 In Wardlaw’s words and in the near-breathless reporting on this occasion...
5. “A little private conversation . . . in her boudoir”: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Appearance at Stafford House in 1853: An Essay in Twelve Parts
I have long been fascinated with a scene in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands (1854) in which the American author, understandably anxious about a reception at a London townhouse, disappears into the duchess’s boudoir, only to appear...
6. Reluctant Celebrity: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, and the Transatlantic Embodiment of Gender and Fame
In 1913, The New York Times reported on the findings of Cora Sutton Castle, an American academic who, as part of her doctoral dissertation, had compiled a statistical calculation of the world’s most famous women.1 Spanning a twentysix- century...
7. Freedom and Grace: Harriet Jacobs in England
One of the least-known periods in the life of fugitive slave Harriet Jacobs is the ten months she spent in England, from mid-1845 to spring 1846. “A Visit to England,” the chapter Jacobs devotes to this sojourn in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), is a scant...
8. Great Exhibitions: Ellen Craft on the British Abolitionist Stage
As the only child of Dr. John Estlin, a major figure in England’s abolitionist movement of the mid-nineteenth century, Mary Estlin fervently followed in her father’s footsteps. Mary, a committed social activist, led the Bristol and Clifton Ladies’ Anti-Slavery...
9. A Summer in England: The Women’s Rest Tour Association of Boston and the Encouragement of Independent Transatlantic Travel for American Women
At the turn of the last century, the eminent Bostonian author and literary hostess Annie Adams Fields, wife of publisher James T. Fields, wrote: “There is no rest like that of going across the ocean to places entirely new to us” (qtd. in Norton 6). In saying...
Part II: Authorship, Influence, & Reception: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Transatlantic Print Culture
10. The Lost Lady in the World of Comus: Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Margaret Fuller Read Milton
In the nineteenth century, transatlantic culture moved both east and west. While numerous writers (including Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Margaret Fuller) traveled to Europe and recorded their impressions, many more found that their ideas and texts were inextricably...
11. Belonging, Longing, and the Exile State in Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Eliot
Returning from a nine-week trip through Europe, George Eliot notes in her journal entry of 5 May 1869: “On our arrival at home I found a delightful letter from Mrs. H. B. Stowe, whom I have never seen, addressing me as ‘her dear...
12. “In Its English Dress”: Reading Susan Warner’s The Wide, Wide World as a Transatlantic Religious Bestseller
Near the end of Susan Warner’s 1850 bestseller, The Wide, Wide World, the orphaned young heroine Ellen Montgomery is forced to leave the care of loving friends in America for the home of relations in Edinburgh, whom she has never met...
13. Emily Dickinson and Transatlantic Geology
From the earliest days of Dickinson scholarship critics have rightly regarded religion as one of the great shaping influences on Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Its presence in her verse is undeniable, but this emphasis overlooks one important issue...
14. American Jane Eyres: Louisa May Alcott’s and Anna Katharine Green’s Transatlantic Dialogues with Charlotte Brontë
Since its publication in 1847, few works of fiction have produced a more lasting resonance than Jane Eyre or demonstrated a more transnational reach. Charlotte Brontë’s first novel has never been out of print, and by 1994, it had been translated...
15. “The Sympathy of Another Writer”: The Correspondence between Sarah Orne Jewett and Mrs. Humphry Ward
The seventeen-year correspondence between Sarah Orne Jewett and Mrs. Humphry Ward is a prime example of the vitality and importance of transatlantic exchanges between women writers in the nineteenth century. Reuniting their correspondence...