The Shattered Dream: A Southern Bride at the Turn of the Century: The Day Book of Margaret Sloan

Margaret Sloan, Author, Harold Woodell, Editor
Margaret Sloan, Author, Harold Woodell, Editor University of South Carolina Press $24.95 (233p) ISBN 978-0-87249-712-2
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
In 1900, Margaret Sloan was a 26-year-old belle from Chattanooga, Tenn., anticipating her marriage to Willard Leland, a peripatetic New Yorker. The daybook in which she confided her thoughts, feelings and eventual disillusionment about this longed-for event is presented here with emendations by Woodell, an English professor at Clemson University. This affecting record of two years in the life of a middle-class, genteel woman is filled with details of social calls, dress, flirting and unrealistical dreams of the crowning achievement of Southern womanhood, wedded bliss. When her idealized husband proves inattentive, leaving her alone for long periods in the boardinghouses that are their first homes in North Carolina and New York, Margaret's marriage becomes ``the bitterest disappointment'' of her life. Separated for a while, she and Willard reunite chiefly because Margaret has no alternative. Although the entries are often repetitious and banal, the diary offers another view of the fabled ``Southern belle'' and contributes to women's history. (Dec.)
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