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What binds die essays in BeyondImage and Convention together is more than simplywomen pushing on die boundaries ofsocial convention. As the editors righdy conclude, diese women "who were at the bottom ofthe social ladder had litde to lose in defying convention." What drove these women, as in the case of Cynthia Lyerly's "unruly" Methodist women and Kimberly Schreck's freed slave who sued for back wages after being kept in servitude for decades after emancipation, was the pursuit of power. The white housekeepers who guarded dieir positions and privileges in AnyaJabour's essay and the slave matriarchwho ruled the household servants in Norma Mitchell's article also strove not to change society's perception of themselves but rather to improve and defend dieir control over their own social or economic situations. In this regard, the editors sell themselves and the essays short. The editors introduce the collection as a means to give us "a fuller, truer picture ofthe complexities oflife in the Soudi," but fail to explore the ways in which this picture reshaped the power relations in the region and not just the "moonlight and magnolias" image diat has weighed down the field for so long. Taken together, these two anthologies represent the recent flowering ofsouthern women's history as a distinct sub-field. Both of these collections rely on established scholars from the field's first generation of researchers as well as from newer talents in their effort to ground southern women's history in a broader base and finally take it offdie old pedestal on which it has teetered for so long. In the end, though, these volumes with their narrowly focused essays will only whet die appetites of their readers for more full-length syntheses of die diversity of southern womanhood. The Root of All Evil The Protestant Clergy and die Economic Mind of die Old Soudi By Kennedi Moore Startup University of Georgia Press, 1997 218 pp. Cloth $23.95 Reviewed by Robert M. Calhoon, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and author oíEvangelicals and Conservatives in the Old South, 1J40—1861, published by University of South Carolina Press, 1987. 96 southern cultures, Fall2000: Reviews On April 6, 1845, lowcountry South Carolina planter Thomas B. Chaplin recorded in his diary that he "intended going to church." Dressed, brushed, examined critically my tout ensemble, being satisfied herewith was about to depart, when Io—my gloves were missing. A general hunt produced but one ofthe missing articles. What was to be done? To go with an ungloved hand was impossible. Besides that member presented a most inelegant appearance, having burnt it mahogany colored in my fishing expedition. But in the midst of my turning upside down trunks and boxes diere come a sudden shower. Fortunate circumstance! I ordered my buggy back, ensconced myselfin my elbow chair, and oh! Sin and Satan, spent the morning reading the Chevalier du FUublas . . . The book was a bawdy novel Chaplin found a refreshing contrast to the spirit of the Sabbath. A month later, Chaplin's burgeoning personal debts forced him to sell ten slaves. "Nothing can be more mortifying and grieving to a man," he confided, "dian to select out some of his Negroes to be sold." He worried about the well being of slaves, but even worse was the ridicule he knew he was receiving behind his back from "people [who] will laugh at your distress, and say it serves you right, you lived beyond your means, though some of the same never refused to partake ofthat hospitality." OnJuIy 4, he attended celebrations ofthe daywhich included an oration, a prayer by his own Episcopal minister, the Reverend David McElheran , and fireworks, one burst of which went off so close to Chaplin that it seared his eyeball. He had contributed six botdes of champagne to the party, and though he consumed none himself, he noted his neighbors' enjoyment ofthe celebratory gift. Years later, when re-reading and annotating his journal, Chaplin made clear that more than his eyeball was seared that day. "Fool," he censured himself, "forgot about your ten Negroes sold! Ah, low, low." Characteristic of Chaplin's resort to Biblical language in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 96-99
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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