Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Figures

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

Though writing a book is most often understood as a solitary practice, it requires the labor and love of many people. I am so grateful for the teachers, mentors, colleagues, friends, and family members who have supported my intellectual life and this particular project...

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INTRODUCTION: Recollecting New England Regionalism

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pp. 1-24

Thoughts of the colonial New England past shaped the lives of many late nineteenth-century women in the United States. In the years before the Civil War, select writers, collectors, and historians had taken up the project of representing the colonial period, but it was not until the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 that reimagining the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries became a popular pastime1...

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1 Renovating the House of History

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pp. 25-56

C. Alice Baker was an early feminist historian dedicated to researching white, colonial New England women’s experiences of captivity, survival, and reaffiliation beyond New England’s borders. Unlike the influential histories of colonial North America provided by her contemporary Francis Parkman, in which individual men represent clearly demarcated warring nationalities...

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2 Literature’s Historical Acts

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pp. 57-88

New England regionalist fiction performed historiographical work. Sarah Orne Jewett, now the most famous of the New England regionalist writers, had these lines from Gustave Flaubert posted over her writing desk: “Écrire la vie ordinaire comme on écrit l’histoire” (“Write about daily life as you would write history”), and she asserted in her 1893 preface to Deephaven...

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3 Out of the China Closet

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pp. 89-116

In the period between 1865 and 1915, collecting antique china became a popular pastime in the United States, one centered in New England. China collecting had long been an adored hobby among the elite of England, from the porcelain craze of the early eighteenth century to the Aesthetes’ obsession with old blue in the second half of the nineteenth...

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4 Spectral Fusions, Modernist Times

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pp. 117-154

The work of New England regionalism, on which the first three chapters of this book have focused, was taken up by a group that included women from two generations: members of the first generation were born in and around 1830—C. Alice Baker, Susan Minot Lane, Rose Terry Cooke, and Annie Trumbull Slosson—and members of the second were born in and around 1850—Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and Alice Morse Earle...

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EPILOGUE: The Intimate Historicism of Late Twentieth-Century Feminist Criticism

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pp. 155-164

I have argued in this book that a range of late nineteenth-century women intellectuals—fiction writers, historians, visual artists, and collectors—were fascinated by questions of gender and history. These women rethought the figure of the modern unmarried daughter in distinctly historical terms while exploring the various desires engendered by her intimacies with people, objects, and spaces from the past...

Notes

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pp. 165-190

Bibliography

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pp. 191-210

Index

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pp. 211-222