No Silent Witness: Three Generations of Unitarian Wives and Daughters by Cynthia Tucker

No Silent Witness: Three Generations of Unitarian Wives and Daughters

byCynthia Tucker

Hardcover | August 1, 2010

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This group biography follows three generations of ministers' daughters and wives in a famed American Unitarian family. Shifting the focus from pulpit to parsonage, and from sermon to whispered secrets, Cynthia Tucker humanizes the Eliots and their religious tradition and lifts up a largelyneglected female vocation. Spanning 150 years from the early 19th century forward, the narrative shapes itself into a series of stories. Each of six chapters takes up a different woman's defining experience, from the deaths of numerous children and the anguish of infertility to the suffocation ofsmall parish life with its chronic loneliness, doubt, and resentment. One woman confides in a rare close friend, another in the anonymous readers of magazines that publish her poems. A third escapes from an ill-fitting role by succumbing to neurasthenia, leaving one debilitating condition foranother. The matriarch's granddaughters script larger lives, bypassing marriage and churchly employment to follow their hearts into same-sex relationships, and major careers in public health and preschool education. In two concluding chapters, Tucker enlarges the frame to bring in the regular parishwomen who collectively give voice to issues the ministers' kin must keep to themselves. All of the stories are linked by the women's continuing battles to make themselves heard over clerical wisdom that contradicts their reality.

About The Author

Cynthia Tucker is Professor of English at the University of Memphis and Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Unitarian Universalist History
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Title:No Silent Witness: Three Generations of Unitarian Wives and DaughtersFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:August 1, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195390202

ISBN - 13:9780195390209

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsMajor EventsChart of The Eliot Forebears1. The Unitarian Universe2. Calling the Family Togeth3. The Rush of Words4. Where Words Fail5. The Voice Coach6. Reduced to a Whisper7. Talking Back and Taking Flight8. A Larger Sphere9. New Rules of Engagement10. Old Work and New11. No Parting WordThe Family RosterAbbreviationsNotesBibliographyIndex