Catalogue


Memory's daughters : the material culture of remembrance in eighteenth-century America /
Susan M. Stabile.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2004.
description
xiii, 284 p.
ISBN
0801440319 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2004.
isbn
0801440319 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5128986
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-11-01:
Stabile (English, Texas A&M Univ.) examines the "Philadelphia coterie," a group of five women who kept and shared commonplace books. She points out that this group "extend[ed] the art of commonplacing to other modes of collecting" and "established distinctly material mnemonic practices through the analogous domestic arts" including genealogy, architecture, gardens, penmanship, shell work, souvenir collecting, and mourning. By closely reading the coterie's artifacts and commonplace books, Stabile concludes that domestic space has a uniquely feminine mode of memory that creates a personal collective history and that feminine material culture is "materialized memory." Stabile's extensive research focuses on women's cultural resources such as manuals for mourning, miniature painting, cosmetic application, writing, and shadow portraits, giving detailed insight into "feminine" culture of early America while sidestepping gender issues. Though lucid and unique, this book barely relates its argument to traditional history and never to literary history. This narrow focus limits its audience. ^BSumming Up: Graduate students, researchers, faculty. D. W. Werden West Texas A&M University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Susan M. Stabile has given us a great gift: a sense of the world inhabited by America's first constellation of literary women. Her abandonment of chronology and disinclination to introduce any sort of narrative of development are a challenge to traditional historians. Instead, they force one into the perspective of the persons she is treating. The payoff is a heightened impression of immediacy-there are places in the book where we really get into the skin of these women. Memory's Daughters is truly one of the great books written about early America in the last twenty years."-David Shields, editor, Early American Literature
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2004
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
A renowned literary coterie in 18th-century Philadelphia - including Elizabeth Fergusson, Deborah Logan and Annis Stockton - wrote and exchanged thousands of poems and maintained elaborate books of memorabilia. The author shows how they sought to memorialize their lives and aesthetic experience.
Main Description
A renowned literary coterie in eighteenth-century Philadelphia-Elizabeth Fergusson, Hannah Griffitts, Deborah Logan, Annis Stockton, and Susanna Wright-wrote and exchanged thousands of poems and maintained elaborate handwritten commonplace books of memorabilia. Through their creativity and celebrated hospitality, they initiated a salon culture in their great country houses in the Delaware Valley. In this stunningly original and heavily illustrated book, Susan M. Stabile shows that these female writers sought to memorialize their lives and aesthetic experience-a purpose that stands in marked contrast to the civic concerns of male authors in the republican era. Drawing equally on material culture and literary history, Stabile discusses how the group used their writings to explore and at times replicate the arrangement of their material possessions, including desks, writing paraphernalia, mirrors, miniatures, beds, and coffins. As she reconstructs the poetics of memory that informed the women's lives and structured their manuscripts, Stabile focuses on vernacular architecture, penmanship, souvenir collecting, and mourning. Empirically rich and nuanced in its readings of different kinds of artifacts, this engaging work tells of the erasure of the women's lives from the national memory as the feminine aesthetic of scribal publication was overshadowed by the proliferating print culture of late eighteenth-century America.
Unpaid Annotation
A renowned literary coterie in eighteenth-century Philadelphia--Elizabeth Fergusson, Hannah Griffitts, Deborah Logan, Annis Stockton, and Susanna Wright--wrote and exchanged thousands of poems and maintained elaborate handwritten commonplace books of memorabilia. Through their creativity and celebrated hospitality, they initiated a salon culture in their great country houses in the Delaware Valley. In this stunningly original and heavily illustrated book, Susan M. Stabile shows that these female writers sought to memorialize their lives and aesthetic experience--a purpose that stands in marked contrast to the civic concerns of male authors in the republican era. Drawing equally on material culture and literary history, Stabile discusses how the group used their writings to explore and at times replicate the arrangement of their material possessions, including desks, writing paraphernalia, mirrors, miniatures, beds, and coffins. As she reconstructs the poetics of memory that informed the women's lives and structured their manuscripts, Stabile focuses on vernacular architecture, penmanship, souvenir collecting, and mourning.
Table of Contents
Preface: Mnemosyne's Gift
Introduction: The Genealogy of Memoryp. 1
The Architecture of Memoryp. 19
Pen, Ink, and Memoryp. 74
Among Her Souvenirsp. 129
In Memoriamp. 178
Conclusion: The Ruins of Timep. 228
Notesp. 235
Indexp. 277
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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