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Domestic Abolitionism and Juvenile Literature, 1830-1865
Domestic Abolitionism and Juvenile Literature, 1830-1865
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Deborah C. De Rosa - Author
N/A
Hardcover - 214 pages
Release Date: September 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5825-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5825-9

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 214 pages
Release Date: September 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5826-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5826-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Explores why women abolitionists turned to children's literature to make their case against slavery.

Deborah C. De Rosa examines the multifaceted nature of domestic abolitionism, a discourse that nineteenth-century women created to voice their political sentiments when cultural imperatives demanded their silence. For nineteenth-century women struggling to find an abolitionist voice while maintaining the codes of gender and respectability, writing children's literature was an acceptable strategy to counteract the opposition. By seizing the opportunity to write abolitionist juvenile literature, De Rosa argues, domestic abolitionists were able to enter the public arena while simultaneously maintaining their identities as exemplary mother-educators and preserving their claims to "femininity." Using close textual analyses of archival materials, De Rosa examines the convergence of discourses about slavery, gender, and children in juvenile literature from 1830 to 1865, filling an important gap in our understanding of women's literary productions about race and gender, as well as our understanding of nineteenth-century American literature more generally.

“…the writings that De Rosa recovers must be considered in future scholarship. De Rosa’s careful archival work is a valuable contribution to the study of antebellum women writers and an important addition to our understanding of nineteenth-century American literatures of the child.” — Legacy

“…[De Rosa] deserves tremendous credit for resurrecting voices that have long been mute and for opening a new discussion on the relationship between femininity, motherhood, and political activism in nineteenth-century America.” — Mississippi Quarterly

“Deborah C. De Rosa’s excellent book offers the first extended look at the historical context, print culture, and rhetoric of American abolitionist literature written for children by women authors in the mid-nineteenth century.” — Rhetoric and Public Affairs

"De Rosa offers a detailed analysis of various works of abolitionist children's literature to make a compelling case that this primary source can be valuable in explaining an overlooked dimension of antislavery activism before the Civil War. This study provides a new avenue for understanding female abolitionism and children's literature." — Nancy Isenberg, author of Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America

"De Rosa should be commended for recognizing the gap in scholarship of the period and for finding value in a group of writers who took seriously the intersection of abolitionist and domestic concerns." — Bruce Mills, Kalamazoo College

Deborah C. De Rosa is Assistant Professor of English at Northern Illinois University.


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Table of Contents

Figures

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Introduction

1. "Some twelve or fifteen others . . . the committee would recommend for publication": Domestic Abolitionists and Their Publishers

2. "Now, Caesar, say no more today; Your story makes me cry": Sentimentalized Victims and Abolitionist Tears

3. Seditious Histories: The Abolitionist Mother-Historian

4. "We boys [and girls] had better see what we can do, for it is too wicked": The Juvenile Abolitionists

Notes

Works Cited

Index



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