Women's Early American Historical Narratives (Penguin Classics)
Sharon M. Harris
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This fascinating collection presents a rare look at women writers' first-hand perspectives on early American history. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries many women authors began to write historical analysis, thereby taking on an essential role in defining the new American Republicanism. Like their male counterparts, these writers worried over the definition and practice of both public and private virtue, human equality, and the principles of rationalism. In contrast to male authors, however, female writers inevitably addressed the issue of inequality of the sexes. This collection includes writings that employ a wide range of approaches, from straightforward reportage to poetical historical narratives, from travel writing to historical drama, and even accounts in textbook format, designed to provide women with exercises in critical thinking—training they rarely received through their traditional education.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
sufficient respect having been paid to her memory; posterity will be more just, and remember Catharine Macaulay was an example of intellectual acquirements, supposed to be incompatible with the weakness of her sex. In the style of her writing, indeed no sex appears, for it is like the sense it conveys, strong and clear. Her judgment is the profound mature fruit of thinking; she writes with sober energy. Mary Wollstonecraft was a woman of great energy and a very independent mind; her Rights of
“Observations on Female Abilities.” Using women’s historical contributions to Western culture, Murray expounds on one of her favorite subjects: women’s rights to—and abilities for—equal opportunities in intellectual and cultural pursuits. OBSERVATIONS ON FEMALE ABILITIES1 Part I. Amid the blaze of this auspicious day, When science points the broad refulgent way, Her iron sceptre prejudice resigns, And sov’reign reason all resplendent shines. 1798. The reader is requested to consider the
States, Royall roams over the entire country, focusing on regions in the southern and mid-Atlantic states as well, giving a sense of the wealth of resources and the rich history that is the United States. It is Willard’s proferred pattern for teaching history, however, that reflects the greatest attention to a nationalist agenda. She begins with the local, moves to the national, and then to the global. She asserts that a student can learn about U.S. history by having his father’s or mother’s
political, and execrate his public transactions. The barriers of the British constitution broken over, and the ministry encouraged by their sovereign, to pursue the iniquitous system against the colonies to the most alarming extremities, they probably judged it a prudent expedient, in order to curb the refractory spirit of the Massachusetts, perhaps bolder in sentiment and earlier in opposition than some of the other colonies, to appoint a man to preside over them who had renounced the quondam
relations. In this situation of wretchedness, embittered by impotent resentment, colonel Donnison,20 on whom the command had devolved, finding resistance impracticable, went out himself with a flag, to ask the terms of surrender. To this humiliating question, the infamous Butler replied, with all the sang-froid of the savage, and the laconism of an ancient Greek, “the hatchet.” The unfortunate Donnison returned in despair; yet he bravely defended the fort until most of his men had fallen by his