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In the affairs of the world : women, patriarchy, and power in colonial South Carolina /
Cara Anzilotti.
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
x, 216 p. ; 25 cm.
0313320314 (alk. paper)
More Details
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
0313320314 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [195]-211) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-01-01:
Anzilotti (Loyola Marymount Univ.) argues that women of the planter class in the South Carolina low country had a double profile. While married, they were entirely deferential to their husbands and had subordinate roles in society. On the death of husbands, most widows remained single and assumed all the responsibilities of plantation management. They were surrogates to keep estates intact to be passed on to male heirs when they reached maturity. Widows sought to preserve the patriarchal system. Women were "their husbands' dependents in life and their regents after death." The book considers gender relations, the expectations of women in society, and property rights. The lives of certain prominent women who succeeded as plantation managers are featured. Although well researched and written, this study does not so much explore new ground as add greater understanding of the lives of women in the Carolina aristocracy. Recommended for all levels of academic collections. H. M. Ward emeritus, University of Richmond
Review Quotes
'œ...adds greater understanding of the lives of women in the Carolina aristocracy. Recommended for all levels of academic collections.'' Choice
'œ[I]n the Affairs of the World presents some interesting insights into the roles of women in colonial South Carolina.'' The Journal Of Southern history
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2003
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Long Description
This book examines how, quite by accident and under very unfortunate circumstances, Britain's colony of South Carolina afforded women an unprecedented opportunity for economic autonomy. Though the colony prospered financially, throughout the colonial period the death rate remained alarmingly high, keeping the white population small. This demographic disruption allowed white women a degree of independence unknown to their peers in most of England's other mainland colonies, for, as heirs of their male relatives, an unusually large proportion of women controlled substantial amounts of real estate. Their economic independence went unchallenged by their male peers because these women never envisioned themselves as anything more than deputies for their husbands, fathers, brothers, and friends. As far as low country settlers were concerned, allowing women to assume the role of planter was necessary to the creation of a traditional, male-centered society in the colony. Fundamentally conservative, women in South Carolina worked to safeguard the patriarchal social order that the area's staggering mortality rate threatened to destroy. Critical to the perpetuation of English culture and patriarchal authority in South Carolina, female planters attended to the affairs of the world and helped to preserve English society in a wilderness setting.
Table of Contents
"They Who Want to Go Quickly, Go to Carolina": Settling the South Carolina Low Country
"A Brilliant Society": Creating a Provincial Aristocracy
"The Scene of Our Happiness and Miseries": Gender Relations in the Low Country
"The Most Industrious Sex in That Place": Popular Perceptions of Women in Low Country Society
"By Order of Madam": Women and Property in the Low Country
"Just the Thing That Suits My Genius": Women and Patriarchy in the Low Country
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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