Abstract

This article analyzes the fifty-eight novels by Illinois women selected for the Woman's Building Library and reveals their significance within the larger cultural context. The Illinois fiction provides an important example of the way a culture thinks, speaks, and plans for itself at a particular historical moment. The novels are especially relevant to understanding the religious beliefs, social practices, and economic and political environment that produced them. Yet the Illinois fiction is not a mere artifact that reflects its period. It is also serious literary work that calls the assumptions of the later nineteenth century, and our own assumptions about it, into question.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 109-132
Launched on MUSE
2006-03-14
Open Access
No
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