Synopses & Reviews
Throughout the nineteenth century, American authors such as Henry James, William Dean Howells, and Noah Webster displayed a fascination with women's speech--describing how women's voices sound, what happens when women speak, and what reactions their speech produces, especially in their male listeners. Voices of the Nation argues that closer inspection of these recurring descriptions also performed political work that has had a profound--though unspecified to date--impact on American culture.
"...a useful addition to the literature in rhetoric and public affairs." Rhetoric &Public Affairs"Recommended for both undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines of the liberal arts." Choice
Studies the relationship between womenâs speech and nineteenth century American literary culture.
Throughout the nineteenth century, writers such as Henry James, William Dean Howells, and Noah Webster displayed a fascination with womenâs speech. Voices of the Nation argues that these recurring descriptions also performed political work that has had a profound - though unspecified to date - impact on American culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction; The Voice of the Nation: Gender, Speech, and Nineteenth-Century American life; 1. Bawdy talk: The Politics of Women's Speech in Henry James's The Bostonians and Sarah J. Hale's The Lecturess; 2.'Foul Mouthed Women': Disembodiment and Public Discourse in Herman Melville's Pierre and E.D.E.N. Southworth's The Fatal Marriage; 3. Incarnate Words: Nativism, Nationalism, and the Female Body in Maria Monk's Awful Disclosures ; 4. Partners in Speech: Reforming Labor, Class, and the Working Woman's Body in Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's The Silent Partner; 5. 'Queer Trimmings': Dressing, Cross-Dressing, and Women's Suffrage in Lillie Deereux Blake's Fettered for Life; 6. Southern Oratory and The Slavery Debate in Caroline Lee Hentz's Planter's Northern Bride and Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Conclusion; 'Every Wrong that Needs a Voice': Women and Political Activism at the Turn into the Twentieth Century.