In Joy and in Sorrow

In Joy and in Sorrow : Women, Family, and Marriage in the Victorian South, 1830-1900

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In Joy and in Sorrow brings together some of the finest historians of the South in a sweeping exploration of the meaning of the family in this troubled region. In their vast canvas of the Victorian South, the authors explore the private lives of Senators, wealthy planters, and the belles of high society, along with the humblest slaves and sharecroppers, both white and black. Stretching from the height of the antebellum South's pride and power through the chaos of the Civil War and Reconstruction to the end of the century, these essays uncover hidden worlds of the Southern family, worlds of love and duty-and of incest, miscegenation, and insanity. Featuring an introduction by C. Vann Woodward, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mary Chesnut's Civil War, and a foreword by Anne Firor Scott, author of The Southern Lady, this work presents an outstanding array of historians: Eugene Genovese, Catherine Clinton, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Carol Bleser, Drew Faust, James Roark, Michael Johnson, Brenda Stevenson, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Jacqueline Jones, Peter Bardaglio, and more. They probe the many facets of Southern domestic life, from the impact of the Civil War on a prominent Southern marriage to the struggles of postwar sharecropper families. One author turns the pages of nineteenth century cookbooks, exploring what they tell us about home life, housekeeping, and entertaining without slaves after the Civil War. Other essays portray the relationship between a Victorian father and his devoted son, as well as the private writings of a long-suffering Southern wife. In Joy and in Sorrow offers a fascinating look into the tangled reality of Southern life before, during, and after the Civil War. With this collection of essays, editor Carol Bleser provides a powerful new way of understanding this most self-consciously distinct region. In Joy and in Sorrow will appeal to everyone interested in marriage and the family, the problems of gender and slavery, as well as in the history of the South, old and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 156.5 x 237 x 28.2mm | 651.92g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 27 illus.
  • 0195060482
  • 9780195060485

Review quote

Fascinating and extremely readable investigation of women, family and marriage in the Victorian South. I highly recommend this book to any student of Southern history. David E. Young, Biola University Useful for students. Ruth Alden Doan, Hollins Colleger Very broad and interesting compilation of individual and family experiences before, during and after the Civil War. Some of the articles are models of family narrative history. Richard B. Drake, Beria College An absolutely first class volume of essays. William L. Van Deburg, University of Wisconsin, Madison Carol Bleser has succeeded in presenting a forum of spirited historical debate that will surely stimulate readers to want to know more. Georgia Historical Quarterly Fascinating...A fraternal collection that hangs together well. The Boston Globe A rich array of historical scholarship covering the spectrum of Victorian Southern society...These essays also provide a taste of the exciting research under way by some of the [South's] most eminent historians. Charlotte Observer Presents a diversity of opinion on subjects which largely have been neglected or avoided. Expertly edited...,this book will appeal to the specialist and general reader alike."-Charleston News & Courier A useful sampling of family history's potential...Many articles are worth reading. South Carolina Historical Magazine Valuable...A number of pieces make important contributions to this burgeoning field in southern history. The Journal of American History This is not your traditional dry, academic history. Carol Bleser...has brought together a series of essays by a stellar array of Southern historians...Senators and Southern belles share the pages with the humblest slaves and farmers, both black and white. Love and duty, incest, miscegenation and insanity are all part of the troubled region and along the way many questions are raised concerning everything from gender to racism. Minneapolis-St. Paul Tribune Three of these four appendages are themselves papers and worth the price of this volume. Bleser deserves praise for inaugurating what is hoped will become an annual home-and-home series: a game about women at Clemson, a game about men at, say, Texas Tech. Carolina Chroniclesshow more

About Carol K. Bleser

Carol Bleser is the Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Distinguished Professor of American History at Clemson University. Her books include Secret and Sacred: The Diaries of James Henry Hammond, A Southern Slaveholder, The Hammonds of Redcliffe, and The Promised more

Table of contents

Preface, ; Foreword, ; Introduction, ; 1 Precursor to the Victorian Age: The Concept of Marriage and Family as Revealed in the Correspondence of the Izard Family of South Carolina, ; 2 Family and Female Identity in the Antebellum South: Sarah Gayle and Her Family, ; 3 "An Outrage upon Nature": Incest and the Law in the Nineteenth-Century South, ; 4 "Southern Dishonor": Flesh, Blood, Race, and Bondage, ; 5 "Our Family, White and Black": Family and Household in the Southern Slaveholders' World View, ; 6 Strategies of Survival: Free Negro Families and the Problem of Slavery, ; 7 Distress and Discord in Virginia Slave Families, 1830-1860, ; 8 Toward a Kinder and Gentler America: The Southern Lady in the Greening of the Politics of the Old South, ; 9 The Clays of Alabama: The Impact of the Civil War on a Southern Marriage, ; 10. House and Home in the Victorian South: The Cookbook as Guide, ; 11. A Family Tradition of Letters: The Female Percys and the Brontean Mode, ; 12. The Political Economy of Sharecropping Families: Blacks and Poor Whites in the Rural South, 1865-1915, ; 13. A Woman Made to Suffer and Be Strong: Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907, ; 14. A Victorian Father: Josiah Gorgas and His Family, ; Epilogue, ; Appendix for "An Outrage upon Nature" ; Notes ; Contributorsshow more

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11 ratings
3.27 out of 5 stars
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4 27% (3)
3 45% (5)
2 18% (2)
1 0% (0)
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