1st Edition

Neglected American Women Writers of the Long Nineteenth Century

Edited By Verena Laschinger, Sirpa Salenius Copyright 2019
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Neglected American Women Writers of the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Verena Laschinger and Sirpa Salenius, is a collection of essays that offer a fresh perspective and original analyses of texts by American women writers of the long nineteenth century. The essays, which are written both by European and American scholars, discuss fiction by marginalized authors including Yolanda DuBois (African American fairy tales), Laura E. Richards (children’s literature), Metta Fuller Victor (dime novels/ detective fiction), and other pioneering writers of science fiction, gothic tales, and life narratives. The works covered by this collection represent the rough and ragged realities that women and girls in the nineteenth century experienced; the writings focus on their education, family life, on girls as victims of class prejudice as well as sexual and racial violence, but they also portray girls and women as empowering agents, survivors, and leaders. They do so with a high-voltage creative charge. As progressive pioneers, who forayed into unknown literary terrain and experimented with a variety of genres, the neglected American women writers introduced in this collection themselves emerge as role models whose innovative contribution to nineteenth-century literature the essays celebrate.

    Table of Contents



    Recovering Voices of Women

    On Children

    1861: "Legacies of Music, Slave Narratives, and Autobiography: Harriet Jacobs and Bessie Jones"

    Gayle Murchison

    1867: "Save the Child: Sentimental Politics and Matters of (De-)Composition in Metta Fuller Victor’s The Dead Letter"

    Verena Laschinger

    1890: "The Nursery Hermaphrodite and Other Outrageous Children’s Rhymes by Laura E. Richards"

    Etti Gordon Ginzburg

    1893: "Embracing Ambiguity: Navigating the Liminal Waters of Grace King’s ‘The Little Convent Girl’"

    Khristeena Lute

    1920-21: "Doubly Radical: Girls in The Brownies’ Book Reshaping Gender Ideologies"

    Sirpa Salenius

    1920/1942: "Nationalism, Print Capitalism and the Perversity of Propaganda: Imagining Zora Neale Hurston Coming of Age"

    DaMaris Hill

    On Adults

    1845: "Margaret Fuller: a Romantic ‘New Woman’ Poised Between Text and Life

    Jelena Šesnic

    1850: "Private Secrets and Open Sources: Political Authorship in Sara Payson Willis (Fanny Fern) and Margaret Fuller"

    Asunción López-Varela

    1869/1867: "Metta Fuller Victor’s Visual Poetics in The Dead Letter and The Figure Eight: From ‘The Talking Oak’ to ‘The Lady of Shalott’"

    Stéphanie Durrans

    1872: "Lost and Found: Harriet Prescott Spofford’s Telling of Her Story"

    Rita Bode

    1875: "Prophetic Dramas: The Time Travel Narratives of Harriet Hosmer and Frances Power Cobbe"

    Kate Culkin

    1878: "’my natural instincts as a gentleman:’ The Infatuated Detective in Anna Katharine Green’s The Leavenworth Case"

    Ralph J. Poole

    1895: "Between the Pagan and the Puritan: Queering the Binary in Madeline Yale Wynne’s ‘The Little Room’"

    H.J.E. Champion


    Verena Laschinger teaches American Literature at the University of Erfurt, Germany. From 2005 to 2010 she was employed as Assistant Professor of American Literature and Culture at Fatih University Istanbul, Turkey. She holds a Ph.D. from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, and participated in the 1997 School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. Her research interests include Turkish-American literature and American urban literature and photography. She is also a founding member of the European Study Group of Nineteenth-Century American Literature.

    Sirpa Salenius, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in English-language literature and culture at the University of Eastern Finland. Previously she worked as Project Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo and taught at American university study abroad programs in Rome and Florence. Her conference presentations, lectures, and publications focus on Transatlantic Studies; her more recent work looks at race, gender, and sexuality. Her books include An Abolitionist Abroad: Sarah Parker Remond in Cosmopolitan Europe (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016), Rose Elizabeth Cleveland: First Lady and Literary Scholar (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and essay collections: Race and Transatlantic Identities (Routledge, 2017), co-edited with Elizabeth T. Kenney and Whitney Womack Smith, and Transatlantic Conversations: Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Encounters with Italy and the Atlantic World (University of New Hampshire Press, 2016), co-edited with Beth L. Lueck, and Nancy Lusignan Schultz.