Early American Women Writers, the Meridian Anthology of: 1650-1853

Katherine M. Rogers, Editor Plume Books $15 (528p) ISBN 978-0-452-01075-8
This collection of writings edited by Rogers ( The World of Female Difficulties ) offers a fascinating view of women's roles, responsibilities and attitudes throughout the first two centuries of America's history. The women see their own struggles for recognition, equality and power reflected in, first, the Colonies' war for independence, and later, blacks' and abolitionists' fight against slavery. The volume opens with the spiritual poetry of Puritan Anne Dudley Bradstreet; other selections include Abigail Smith Adams's lively letters to her husband; an excerpt from the first American bestseller, Susanna Haswell Rowson's Charlotte Temple ; Harriet Beecher Stowe's reminiscences of the black female preacher Sojourner Truth; and feminist writings by Southern abolitionist Sarah Moore Grimke. During the 19th century, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others began to openly question male domination: `` . . . so long as our present false marriage relation continues, which in most cases is nothing more nor less than legalized prostitution, woman can have no self-respect, and of course man will have none for her,'' Stanton declares in an 1857 letter to Susan B. Anthony. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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