Download e-book for kindle: Claiming the Pen: Women and Intellectual Life in the Early by Catherine Kerrison

By Catherine Kerrison

In 1711, the imperious Virginia patriarch William Byrd II spitefully refused his spouse Lucy's plea for a ebook; a century later, woman Jean Skipwith positioned an order that despatched the Virginia bookseller Joseph Swan scurrying to thrill. those vignettes bracket a century of switch in white southern women's lives. Claiming the Pen deals the 1st highbrow background of early southern ladies. It situates their studying and writing in the literary tradition of the broader Anglo-Atlantic global, to date understood to be a masculine province, at the same time they inhabited the restricted, provincial social circles of the plantation South.

Catherine Kerrison uncovers a brand new realm of girl schooling during which conduct-of-life advice—both the dry pedantry of sermons and the risqué plots of novels—formed the middle analyzing application. girls, she unearths, realized to imagine and write by way of interpreting prescriptive literature, no longer Greek and Latin classics, in impromptu domestic study rooms, instead of faculties and universities, and from family members and associates, instead of schoolmates and professors. Kerrison additionally finds that southern girls, of their willingness to "take up the pen" and so declare new rights, seized upon their racial superiority to offset their gender inferiority. In depriving slaves of schooling, southern girls claimed literacy as a privilege in their whiteness, and perpetuated and bolstered the repressive associations of slavery.

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Claiming the Pen: Women and Intellectual Life in the Early American South by Catherine Kerrison


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