This article discusses Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s 1870 novel Hedged In in the context of the emergence of American literary realism in opposition to the antebellum “romance,” particularly as that form was the vehicle through which high-cultural authorship was both established and established as male. I argue that reading the novel as a rewriting of the most venerable exemplar of the romance tradition, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, suggests that the contours of realism’s emergence made it attractive to a woman writer precisely because the genre seemed to exist beyond antebellum models of gendered authorship, providing a venue in which the portrayal of social—even religious—concerns did not preclude a claim to the talent and ambition of an artist.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 43-64
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.