By Jonathan Daniel Wells
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:October 2011
The first study to focus on white and black women journalists and writers both before and after the Civil War, this book offers fresh insight into southern intellectual life, the fight for women's rights, and gender ideology. Based on fresh research into southern magazines and newspapers, this book seeks to shift scholarly attention away from novelists and toward the rich and diverse periodical culture of the South between 1820 and 1900. Magazines were of central importance to the literary culture of the South because the region lacked the publishing centers that could produce large numbers of books. Easily portable, newspapers and magazines could be sent through the increasingly sophisticated postal system for relatively low subscription rates. The mix of content, from poetry to short fiction and literary reviews to practical advice and political news, meant that periodicals held broad appeal. As editors, contributors, correspondents, and reporters in the nineteenth century, southern women entered traditionally male bastions when they embarked on careers in journalism. In so doing, they opened the door to calls for greater political and social equality at the turn of the twentieth century.