The First Woman in the Republic by Carolyn L. Karcher
A Cultural Biography of Lydia Maria Child (New Americanists)

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For half a century Lydia Maria Child was a household name in the United States. Hardly a sphere of nineteenth-century life can be found in which Lydia Maria Child did not figure prominently as a pathbreaker. Although best known today for having edited Harriet A. Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she pioneered almost every department of nineteenth-century American letters—the historical novel, the short story, children’s literature, the domestic advice book, women’s history, antislavery fiction, journalism, and the literature of aging. Offering a panoramic view of a nation and culture in flux, this innovative cultural biography (originally published by Duke University Press in 1994) recreates the world as well as the life of a major nineteenth-figure whose career as a writer and social reformer encompassed issues central to American history.

About Carolyn L. Karcher

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Carolyn L. Karcher is Professor of English, American Studies, and Women's Studies at Temple University.
Published November 4, 1994 by Duke University Press Books. 832 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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less impressive are the occasional psychological speculations (e.g., on the possible connection in Child's mind between abolitionist John Brown and her parents) and excuses for Child not meeting late-20th-century standards for political correctness (e.g., depression and housework kept her from fi...

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Famous during her lifetime, Child (1802-1880) had a remarkable career as author and social reformer.

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