The Female Prose Writers of America: With Portraits, Biographical Notices, and Specimens of their Writings

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
The Female Prose Writers of America  (1852)  by John Seely Hart
Table of Contents

FemaleProseWriters.jpg

Breser lith. after Devereux des. Pr. in Colors by T. Sinclair, Phil.&



FemaleProseWriters2.jpg

Breser lith. after Devereux des. Pr. in Colors by T. Sinclair, Phil.&



THE


FEMALE PROSE WRITERS


OF


AMERICA.


WITH PORTRAITS, BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES, AND
SPECIMENS OF THEIR WRITINGS.


BY JOHN S. HART, LL.D.


Embellished with Elegant Illustrations.



PHILADELPHIA:

PUBLISHED BY E. H. BUTLER & CO.

1852.




Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by

E. H. BUTLER & CO.,

in the Clerk’s office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.




PREFACE.

THE unwonted favour extended to “Read’s Female Poets of America,” led to the belief that a work on the Female Prose Writers, constructed on a similar plan, would be not unacceptable to the public.

In the preparation of the biographies, much difficulty has been experienced. Few things are more intangible and elusive, than the biography of persons still living, and yet, in the case of those who have pleased us by their writings, few things are more interesting. It seems to be an instinctive desire of the human heart, on becoming acquainted with any work of genius, to know something of its author. Nor is this mere idle curiosity. It is a part of that homage, which every mind rightly constituted, spontaneously offers to whatever is great or good. This feeling of personal interest in an author who has moved us, is greatly increased where, as in the case of most female writers, the subjects of which they write, are chiefly of an emotional nature, carrying with them on every page the unmistakeable impress of personal sympathy, if not experience. Women, far more than men, write from the heart. Their own likes and dislikes, their feelings, opinions, tastes, and sympathies are so mixed up with those of their subject, that the interest of the reader is often enlisted quite as much for the writer, as for the hero, of the tale.

Knowing, therefore, how general is this desire to become acquainted with the personal history of authors, I have taken special pains, in preparing a work on the Female Prose Writers of the country, to make the biographical sketches as full and minute as circumstances would justify, or the writers themselves would allow. The work contains two charming pieces of autobiography, now appearing for the first time, from two long-established favourites with the public, Miss Leslie and Mrs. Gilman. In almost all cases the information has been obtained directly by correspondence with the authors, or their friends. Where this has failed, recourse has been had to the best printed authorities. The work, it is believed, will be found to contain an unusual amount of authentic information, and on subjects where authentic information is equally desirable and difficult to obtain.

The task of making selections has not been easy. I have studied, as far as possible, to select passages characteristic of the different styles of each writer, and at the same time to present the reader with an agreeable variety.

Those who have not been led professionally, or otherwise, to examine the subject particularly, will probably be surprised at the evidences of the rapid growth of literature among American women, during the present generation. When Hannah Adams first published her “View of all Religions,” so rare was the example of a woman who could write a book, that she was looked upon as one of the wonders of the Western world. Learned men of Europe sought her aquaintance and entered into correspondence with her. Yet now, less than twenty years since the death of Hannah Adams, a ponderous volume of nearly five hundred pages is hardly sufficient to enrol the names, and give a few brief extracts from each of our female writers, who have already adorned the annals of literature by their prose writings, to say nothing of the numerous and not less distinguished sisterhood, who have limited themselves to poetry.

A word in regard to the portraits. These have been made, wherever it was practicable, from original paintings or drawings, recently executed, so as to give a likeness of the author as she is now. That of Margaret Fuller is from a portrait by Hicks, copied from an original painted by himself in Rome, during her residence in that city, and considered by her friends, there and here, and excellent likeness. the portrait of Mrs. Hentz is from a miniature, painted last year by her husband, who is an artist. Mrs. Kirkland’s is from a crayon drawing by Martin, and Mrs. Neal’s from a crayon drawing by Furness, both made expressly for the work. The others are, with one exception, from recent likeness, redrawn by Croome. All of these have been engraved in London, in the light and graceful style most generally approved for heads. The illuminated frontispiece and title-page were designed by Mr. Devereux, who has done so much, by his skill, to make the productions of literature at the same time specimens of art.



CONTENTS.


CATHERINE M. SEDGWICK: PAGE
Biographical Notice 17
Magnetism Among the Shakers 19
The Sabbath In New England 24
ELIZA LESLIE:
Biographical Notice 26
Autobiography 27
Mrs. Derrington’s Reception Day 32
CAROLINE GILMAN
Biographical Notice 49
Autobiography 49
SARAH HALL:
Biographical Notice 58
On Fashion 60
MARIA J. McINTOSH:
Biographical Notice 63
Two Portraits 69
LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY:
Biographical Notice 76
The Lost Children 84
I have seen an End of all Perfection 90
SARAH J. HALE:
Biographical Notice 93
From “Woman’s Record” 95
The Mode 96
LOUISA C. TUTHILL:
Biographical Notice 100
Domestic Architecture in the United States 103
CAROLINE M. KIRKLAND:
Biographical Notice 105
The Mystery of Visiting 106
LYDIA M. CHILD:
Biographical Notice 116
Ole Bull 118
The Umbrella Girl 122
EMMA C. EMBURY:
Biographical Notice 128
Two Faces under One Hood 129
MARY S. B. SHINDLER:
Biographical Notice 142
A Day in New York 147
CAROLINE LEE HENTZ:
Biographical Notice 151
Aunt Patty’s Scrap Bag 154
HANNAH ADAMS:
Biographical Notice 161
The Gnostics 162
ELIZABETH F. ELLET:
Biographical Notice 166
Mary Slocumb 167
E. OAKES SMITH:
Biographical Notice 178
The Mystery of the Mountain 179
The Angel and the Maiden 183
LOUISA S. McCORD:
Biographical Notice 187
The Right to Labour 187
ANN S. STEPHENS:
Biographical Notice 193
The Quilting Party 194
FRANCES S. OSGOOD:
Biographical Notice 200
The Magic Lute 201
ELIZABETH C. KINNEY:
Biographical Notice 208
Old Maids 209
The Sonnet 211
HARRIET FARLEY:
Biographical Notice 215
Abby’s Year in Lowell 217
MARY H. EASTMAN:
Biographical Notice 226
Shah-co-pee; the Orator of the Sioux 227
S. MARGARET FULLER:
Biographical Notice 237
A Short Essay on Critics 239
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE:
Biographical Notice 246
The Tea Rose 246
SARA H. BROWNE:
Biographical Notice 254
A Salutation to Fredrika Bremer 257
MARIA J. B. BROWNE:
Biographical Notice 260
Looking Up in the World 262
ELIZABETH BOGART:
Biographical Notice 274
Arthur Mowbray 276
Recollections of Childhood 279
JANE ELIZABETH LARCOMBE:
Biographical Notice 280
Thoughts By the Wayside 280
EMILY C. JUDSON:
Biographical Notice 283
Lucy Dutton 284
My First Grief 290
SARA J. CLARKE:
Biographical Notice 292
A Dream of Death 294
Extract from a Letter 298
ANNE C. LYNCH:
Biographical Notice 302
Fredrika Bremer 305
MARY E. HEWITT:
Biographical Notice 312
A Legend of Ireland 313
ALICE B. NEAL:
Biographical Notice 321
The Child Love 323
CLARA MOORE:
Biographical Notice 335
The Young Minister’s Choice 336
ANN E. PORTER:
Biographical Notice 345
Cousin Helen’s Baby 346
E. W. BARNES:
Biographical Notice 353
The Young Rector 353
ANNE T. WILBUR:
Biographical Notice 360
Alice Vernon 361
ELIZA L. SPROAT:
Biographical Notice 367
The Enchanted Lute 367
MARY SPENSER PEASE:
Biographical Notice 371
The Witch-hazel 371
The Sisters 375
SUSAN FENIMORE COOPER:
Biographical Notice 379
Spiders 379
Humming-birds 381
Weeds 384
ELIZABETH WETHERELL:
Biographical Notice 387
Little Ellen and the Shopman 388
CAROLINE ORNE:
Biographical Notice 396
Doctor Plumley 398
CAROLINE MAY:
Biographical Notice 401
Handel 401
Lucretia and Margaret Davidson 402
JULIA C. R. DORR:
Biographical Notice 407
Hillside Cottage 408
MARY ELIZABETH MORAGNE:
Biographical Notice 413
The Huguenot Town 415
MARY ELIZABETH LEE:
Biographical Notice 418
Extract from a Letter 420
MARY J. WINDLE:
Biographical Notice 423
Alice Heath’s Interview with Cromwell 424
FRANCES B. M. BROTHERSON:
Biographical Notice 430
The Old and the New Year 430



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.




I.

ILLUMINATED FRONTISPIECE.

executed by sinclair, from an original drawing by devereux.

II.

ILLUMINATED TITLE-PAGE

executed by sinclair, from an original drawing by devereux.

III.

PORTRAIT OF MISS SEDGWICK.

engraved in london, from a drawing by croome after a portrait by ingham.

IV.

PORTRAIT OF MISS McINTOSH.

engraved in london, from a drawing by croome.

V.

PORTRAIT OF MRS. KIRKLAND.

engraved in london, from a crayon drawing by martin.

VI.

PORTRAIT OF MRS. HENTZ.

engraved in london, from a drawing by croome, after a miniature by mr. hentz.

VII.

PORTRAIT OF MRS. STEPHENS.

engraved in london, from a drawing by croome.

VIII.

PORTRAIT OF S. MARGARET FULLER.

(marchioness d’ossoli.)

engraved in london, from a portrait by hicks.

IX.

PORTRAIT OF MRS. JUDSON.

(fanny forrester.)

engraved in london, from a drawing by croome.

X.

PORTRAIT OF MRS. NEAL.

engraved in london, from a crayon drawing by furness.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.