A Sherwood Bonner Sampler, 1869-1884: What a Bright, Educated, Witty, Lively, Snappy Young Woman Can Say on a Variety of Topics

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2000 - History - 451 pages
The Mississippi-born author Katharine Sherwood Bonner McDowell (1849-1883) has long been recognized as one of the pioneers in dialect fiction, but she and her work faded from memory as literary tastes shifted away from this popular nineteenth-century genre. Although her career was cut short by her early death, Bonner left a significant body of published work, most of it buried in periodical archives. This book, which adds significantly to the current resurgence of interest in Bonner, brings back into print much of the author's best writing and will acquaint modern readers with her astute and witty observations about America's centennial era.

A Sherwood Bonner Sampler includes regional and European travel columns, historical/autobiographical sketches set in Mississippi, profiles of national celebrities, children's stories, an extended satiric poem about prominent Bostonians, touching personal lyrics, and a variety of short fiction ranging from romantic melodrama to regional realism. Her reports from Reconstruction era Boston reveal a fascinating perspective on postwar sectional differences, while later stories introduce settings along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, in the Tennessee mountains, and in the southern Illinois farm country. In addition, an appendix reproduces the response poem from the Radical Club celebrities, the targets of her infamous satire.

Anne Gowdy's introductory essay places the pieces within historical, biographical, literary, and cultural context. Although much of Bonner's writing retains the power to inform and entertain in and of itself, Gowdy's annotations identify events and personages who might be unfamiliar to modern readers, show connections with other writings by Bonner and some of her contemporaries, and identify quotations and allusions. The result is a volume that makes a signal contribution to the ongoing rediscovery and reappraisal of American authors--in particular, one talented writer whom literary history, until now, has too lightly estimated and too narrowly classified.

The Editor: Anne Razey Gowdy is assistant professor of English at Tennessee Wesleyan College. She has published articles on Sherwood Bonner and other nineteenth-century writers.

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A Sherwood Bonner sampler, 1869-1884: what a bright, educated, witty, lively, snappy young woman can say on a variety of topics

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Born in Mississippi, McDowell (1849$83) traveled to Boston in search of both educational opportunities and employment. There she found the literary world she longed for and formed a lifelong ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
xi
Tales and Stories
xxx
Poetry
xlv
Endings
li
Journalism
lxi
Travel Columns
3
Ralph Waldo Emerson Interviewed by a Fair Southron
16
A Personal Chapter on Sumner Schurz Wendell Phillips
25
Profiles and Personalities
193
Julia Ward Howe Cottage Hearth
199
Louise Chandler Moulton Cottage Hearth Boston Times
207
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Poets Homes Boston Times
213
Mrs Meriwethers Lecture at Holly Springs Memphis Avalanche
222
Granmammy Tales
231
Hieronymus Pop and the Baby Harpers New Monthly Magazine
244
A Hoodoo Story
256

The Big Celebration
32
Wendell Phillips
41
Bostons Centennial
50
A Womans Letters
59
First Impressions of Life in London
66
Over the Blue Waters of the Mediterranean
75
Rome in Carnival Time
84
An Audience with His Holiness the Pope
95
Social Life in the Eternal City
102
A Visit to Garibaldi
110
Farewell Notes on the Sacred City
116
Florence and the Florentines
126
The Romance of Life in Beautiful Venice
134
How She Is Seeing Paris
143
Gossip about the Leading Theatre in the World
152
Reminiscences of a Visit to Bohemia
158
Historical Sketches
164
The Yellow Plague of 78 Youths Companion
179
A Ring of Tales for Younger Folks
266
Tobeys Fortune Our Continent
274
Saved Massachusetts Ploughman
280
A Volcanic Interlude Lippincotts Magazine
301
Christmas Eve at Tuckeyho Lippincotts Magazine
313
Tennessee Stories
335
The Case of Eliza Bleylock Harpers Weekly
343
Lame Jerry Harpers Weekly
352
Illinois Stories
363
On the NineMile Harpers New Monthly Magazine
369
At the WoolPicking Youths Companion
386
The Tender Conscience of Mr Bobberts Harpers Weekly
392
The Radical Club Boston Times
409
Lyrics
415
Bibliography
425
Breaking the News Youths Companion 237
427
Index
441
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

The Editor: Anne Razey Gowdy is assistant professor of English at Tennessee Wesleyan College. She has published articles on Sherwood Bonner and other nineteenth-century writers.

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