A Lydia Maria Child Reader
From the 1820s to the 1870s, Lydia Maria Child was as familiar to the American public as her Thanksgiving song, "Over the river and through the wood, / To grandfather’s house we go," remains today. Hardly a sphere of nineteenth-century life can be found in which Child did not figure prominently as a pathbreaker. She crusaded against slavery and racism, combated religious bigotry, championed women’s rights, publicized the plight of the urban poor, and campaigned for justice toward Native Americans. Showing an uncanny ability to pinpoint and respond to new cultural needs, Child pioneered almost every category of nineteenth-century American letters—historical fiction, the short story, children’s literature, the domestic advice book, women’s history, antislavery fiction, journalism, and the literature of aging.
This rich collection is the first to represent the full range of Child’s contributions as a literary innovator, social reformer, and progressive thinker over a career spanning six decades. It features stories, editorials, articles, and letters to politicians culled from rare newspapers and periodicals and never before published in book form; extracts from her trailblazing childrearing manual, history of women, and primer for the emancipated slaves; and a generous sampling of her best-known writings on slavery, the Indian question, poverty, and women’s rights. Witty, incisive, and often daringly unconventional, Child’s writings open a panoramic window on nineteenth-century American culture while addressing issues still relevant to our own time. In this anthology, the editor of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl reemerges in her own right as one of the nation’s greatest prophets.
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Suggestions for Classroom Use and Explanation
Childrens Literature and Domestic Advice
Jumbo and Zairee
Prejudices against People of Color and Our Duties
in Relation to This Subject
Letters from New York Number 1
Letters from New York Number 14
A HighFlying Letter
Extracts from African Women
Speaking in the Church
Uncollected Letter from NewYork
Hilda Silfverling A Fantasy
Letters from NewYork Number 12
The Iron Shroud
Talk about Political Party
Letters from NewYork Number 33
Slaverys Pleasant Homes A Faithful Sketch
A-lee-lah Abenaki abolition abolitionism abolitionists African American Alerik asked beautiful Boston British British West Indies brother called Catharine Maria Sedgwick character Christian church Civil colored emancipation excited exclaimed eyes Father Hansen feeling freedom friends Garrison girl hand heard heart Hilda human Indian influence Jumbo lady laws Letters from New-York liberty party lived look Louisa Lydia Maria Child Massachusetts masters mind moral mother National Anti-Slavery Standard nature negro never Norridgewock Otoolpha party political poor prejudice prison Quaker race religion religious replied reprinted Saint seemed sister slaveholders slavery slaves smile society soul South southern speak spirit story tell thee things Thomas Wentworth Higginson thou thought tion told tribe Uncle George vote Wharton wife William William Lloyd Garrison Willie woman women York young Zairee