Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746-1892

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Indiana University Press, Jan 1, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 206 pages
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"...substantial contribution to African-American Studies and women’s studies." —Mississippi Quarterly

"A bravura performance by an accomplished scholar... it strikes a perfect balance between insightful literary analysis and historical investigation." —Eighteenth-Century Studies

"... an impressive study of a wide range of writers.... Foster’s work is both scholarly and accessible. Her prose is economical and direct, making this book enjoyable as well as instructive." —Belles Lettres

"... an impressively wide-ranging discussion of texts and contexts... " —Signs

"Foster has written a fine book that provides the reader with a context for understanding the importance of the written word for women who chose to ‘set the record straight’." —Journal of American History

"... fascinating, meticulously researched... Likely to prove seminal in the field... highly recommended... " —Library Journal

"Written by Herself comprises a volume of remarkable female characters whose desires for social change often made them catalysts for spiritual awakening in their own times." —MultiCultural Review

"... an outstanding piece of scholarship... Foster’s book offers deeply intelligent, provocative, totally accessible analysis of a tradition and of writers still not sufficiently read and taught." —American Literature

"Well written and thoroughly researched. Highly recommended... " —Choice

The first comprehensive cultural history of literature by African American women prior to the 20th century. From the oral histories of Alice, a slave born in 1686, to the literary tradition that included Jarena Lee and Octavia Victoria Rogers Albert, this literature was argument, designed to correct or to instruct an audience often ignorant about or even hostile to black women.

  

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Written by herself: literary production by African American women, 1746-1892

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Many existing studies of the history of African American women writers begin with 1892, the year Frances E.W. Harper's Iola Leroy and Anna Julia Cooper's A Voice to the South by a Black Woman of the ... Read full review

Contents

Lucy
23
The PostRevolution
44
Jarena Lees
56
Harriet Jacobs
95
SEVEN Romance and Scandal in a Postbellum Slave
117
The Reconstruction Poetry
131
NINE Confrontation and Community in Octavia Victoria
154
NOTES
191
INDEX
200
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

FRANCES SMITH FOSTER, Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, is the author of Witnessing Slavery: The Development of the Ante-bellum Slave Narrative and editor of A Brighter Coming Day: A Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Reader.

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