Into The Mouths Of Babes: An Anthology Of Children's Abolitionist Literature

Hardcover | July 31, 2005

byDeborah C. De Rosa

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While most people know that Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous book Uncle Tom's Cabin spurred on abolitionist sentiments in the North, not many are aware of the fast abolitionist literature of children's books, poems, short stories, and essays. Many of these volumes were written by domestic women, not seasoned authors, and have been lost to the ages. Here, De Rosa recovers a collection of these writings, illustrating the domestic abolitionists' efforts when cultural imperatives demanded women's silence. These women asserted their anti-slavery sentiments through the voices of victims (slave children and mothers), white mother-historians, and abolitionist children in juvenile literature, one of the few genres available to female authors of the period. This collection restores the voices of these little known authors and shows how their voices helped to influence children and adults of the period. For women struggling to find a voice in the abolitionist movement while maintaining the codes of gender and respectability, writing children's literature was an acceptable strategy to counteract the opposition. By seizing the opportunity to write abolitionist juvenile literature, domestic abolitionists maintained their identities as exemplary mother-educators, preserved their claims to "femininity,"and simultaneously entered the public arena. By adapting literary strategies popular in nineteenth-century juvenile narratives, domestic novels, and slave narratives to document slavery's violation of religious, economic, and political principles, these women "spoke out" against and institution that stood in marked contrast to the beliefs they held so dear. This anthology aims to fill the important gap inour understanding of women's literary productions about race and gender and illustrates the limitations of a canon that excludes such voices.

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While most people know that Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous book Uncle Tom's Cabin spurred on abolitionist sentiments in the North, not many are aware of the fast abolitionist literature of children's books, poems, short stories, and essays. Many of these volumes were written by domestic women, not seasoned authors, and have been lost t...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.52 × 6.34 × 1.38 inPublished:July 31, 2005Publisher:Praeger PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275979512

ISBN - 13:9780275979515

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?This groundbreaking volume collects politically motivated abolitionist literature written for children by women, and in so doing it reveals, according to De Rosa, a group of writers who created "a literary space and public forum for their views through the seemingly non-threatening genre of children's literature..,."The volume includes selections by 20 American and two British women--of whom Harriet Beecher Stowe is the best known, trailed closely by Sarah Josepha Hale and Eliza Lee Follen--and it also presents works of several writers identified only by pseudonyms, e.g., "Grandmother," "Aunt Mary," "SCC." Such evidence of obscurity only underlines the need to recover, as De Rosa puts it, "literary works that offer important insights about forgotten women authors," works that reveal "their participation in their historical-political moment, and their literary production in nineteenth-century America." Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.??Choice