1st Edition

Catharine Beecher The Complexity of Gender in Nineteenth-Century America

By Cindy R. Lobel, Laura J. Ping Copyright 2023
    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    Catharine Beecher: The Complexity of Gender in Nineteenth-Century America investigates how the life of education reformer Catharine Beecher is a lens through which to understand the cultural changes of the nineteenth century.

    Catharine Beecher’s writings outlined a unique domestic role for women just as urbanization and industrialization were limiting their social influence. By arguing that gender differences were a strength, Beecher empowered middle-class women to embrace domestic duties. This book contextualizes Beecher’s life against the major changes that occurred during the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century. By looking at Beecher’s writings and anecdotes from her life, this book offers insight into her personality and how her career shaped the culture of femininity. Students and the general reader will find this a powerful and insightful introduction to Catharine Beecher, her work, and legacy.

    About the Lives of American Women series: selected and edited by renowned women's historian Carol Berkin, these brief biographies are designed for use in undergraduate courses. Primary sources at the end of each biography reveal the subject's perspective in her own words. Study questions and an annotated bibliography support the student reader.

    About the Series Editor: Carol Berkin is Presidential Professor of History Emerita at Baruch College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Berkin is a frequent contributor to PBS and History Channel television documentaries on early American and Revolutionary Era history and edits the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s online journal, History Now. She serves on the scholarly boards of several professional organizations including The National Museum of Women s History and the Scholars Board of the Gilder Lehrman Institute. She has been elected to the Society of American Historians and the American Antiquarian Society. In addition, Berkin is a frequent participant in programs at the New-York Historical Society, and a speaker for One Day University and for a variety of organizations across the country.

    Series Editor’s Forward; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1 Early Life; 2 Beecher’s Career begins; 3 Out West; 4 Beecher’s Conservativism; 5 Domesticity; 6 Education Reform; 7 The Professionalization of Womanhood; 8 The Final Phase; Epilogue; Primary Sources; Study Question; Notes; Bibliography;


    Cindy R. Lobel was an associate professor history at Lehman College, CUNY. She was the author of Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York and an area editor and contributor to Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City. She was a specialist in urban history, food history, and culture in U.S. history.

    Laura J. Ping is an assistant professor at Bellarmine University. She is the author of "A Tale of Two Bloomer Costumes: What Mary Stickney’s and Meriva Carpenter’s Bloomers Reveal about Nineteenth-Century Dress Reform." She is at work on Beyond Bloomers: Fashioning Change in Nineteenth-Century Dress. Ping writes and teaches on fashion, social reform, and gender in U.S. history.