The American Womans Home, originally published in 1869, was one of the late nineteenth centurys most important handbooks of domestic advice. The result of a collaboration by two of the eras most important writers, this book represents their attempt to direct womens acquisition and use of a dizzying variety of new household consumer goods available in the postCivil War economic boom. It updates Catharine Beechers influential Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841) and incorporates domestic writings by Harriet Beecher Stowe first published in The Atlantic in the 1860s.
Today, the book can be likened to an anthology of household hints, with articles on cooking, decorating, housekeeping, child-rearing, hygiene, gardening, etiquette, and home amusements. The American Womans Home, almost a bible on domestic topics for Victorian women, illuminates womens roles a century and a half ago and can be used for comparison with modern theories on the role of women in the home and in society. Illustrated with the original engravings, this completely new edition offers a lively introduction by Nicole Tonkovich and notes linking the text to important historical, social, and cultural events of the late nineteenth century
One of the first celebrity authors, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) became famous almost overnight when Uncle Tom’s Cabin—which sold more than 300,000 copies in its first year of publication—appeared in 1852. Known by virtually all famous writers in the United States and many in England and regarded by many women writers as a role model because of her influence in the literary marketplace, Stowe herself was the subject of many books, articles, essays, and poems during her lifetime.
This volume brings together for the first time a range of primary materials about Stowe’s private and public life written by family members, friends, and fellow writers who knew or were influenced by her before and after Uncle Tom’s Cabin catapulted her to fame. Included are periodical articles by Fanny Fern and Charles Dudley Warner; biographical essays by Sarah Josepha Hale and Rose Terry Cooke; letters by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Harriet Jacobs; recollections by Frederick Douglass, Annie Adams Fields, Isabella Beecher Hooker, and Charles Beecher; and poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar and John Greenleaf Whittier. An introduction at the beginning of each essay connects it to its historical and cultural context, explanatory notes provide information about people and places, and the book includes a detailed introduction and a chronology of Stowe’s life.
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