Florence Lathrop Page: A Biography

Philip J. Funigiello, Author University of Virginia Press $45 (310p) ISBN 978-0-8139-1489-3
Chicago socialite Page (1858-1921) exemplified the changes that occurred as Victorianism gave way to the modern era, according to biographer Funigiello. Married into the Marshall Field family and widowed as a young mother, Page's affluence enabled her to exercise independence in her second marriage to Thomas Nelson Page, a novelist and U.S. Ambassador to Italy during WW I. Through her letters, Funigiello ( American-Soviet Trade in the Cold War ) documents Page's activities in Italy, including the relief programs she organized during the war and after the 1915 earthquake. Less convincing is the author's conjecture that since Page bore only two children in her first marriage and none in her second, she achieved sexual equality. Also questionable is his argument that Page should be called a feminist because she stretched gender barriers, when, on the evidence, she consistently supported male authority and conformed to the era's ideals of womanhood. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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