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Patrons and protégées : gender, friendship, and writing in nineteenth-century America /
edited by Shirley Marchalonis.
New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c1988.
xviii, 243 p. --
0813512700 :
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New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c1988.
0813512700 :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographies and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-07:
Mentorial relationships are by definition hierarchical, but those between men and women have been seen in particularly pernicious terms, assuming that women use literary friendships as cover-ups for sexual pursuit. The usefulness of a text like Patrons and Protegees is to expose these premises for the blatant biases they are; to report, as far as primary documents are able, the ``real'' parameters of the relationships; and to show intellectual influences that worked both ways. Another function of this text is simply to introduce a number of 19th-century American women writers to the public. Most readers will have heard of Margaret Fuller, Emily Dickinson, and Charlotte Perkins, but not of Frances Sargent Osgood, Fanny Fern, Annie Fields, Lucy Larcom, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Sherwood Bonner. They will know the male writers, however, and may come to this book out of curiosity about their literary friendships. In the best of these essays, such as Dorothy Berkson's on Fuller and Emerson and Cheryl Torsney's on Woolson and James, they will find genuinely revisionary writing-corrections of old myths. Other essays introduce new material, quote from enlightening letters, and point out the fallacies of past interpretive conventions. Not all the essays are equally convincing, but the book is a contribution to our slow re-visioning of our gender preferences and sexual stereotypes. Appropriate for all levels of academic libraries.-S.K. Harris, Queens College, CUNY
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Choice, July 1988
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