Mistresses and Slaves

Mistresses and Slaves : Plantation Women in South Carolina, 1830-80

3.22 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Marli Weiner challenges much of the received wisdom on the domestic realm of the nineteenth-century southern plantation - a worked in which white mistresses and female slaves labored together to provide food, clothing, and medicines to the larger plantation community. Although divided by race, black and white women were joined by common female experiences and expectations of behavior. Because work and gender affected them as much as race, mistresses and female slaves interacted with one another very differently from the ways they interacted with men. Supported by the women's own words, Weiner offers fresh interpretations of the ideology of domesticity that influenced women's race relations before the Civil War, the gradual manner in which they changed during the war, and the harsher behaviors that resulted during Reconstruction.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 154.94 x 226.06 x 30.48mm | 430.91g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252066235
  • 9780252066238
  • 2,017,473

Review quote

"An original and provocative presentation of plantation women in the mid-nineteenth century... Equally important, Weiner provides one of the most detailed analyses of the South's ideology of domesticity and she helps us to understand female agency in the shifting nature of Southern race relations." -- Steve Tripp, Journal of Social History "With imagination and care, Weiner uses diaries, fiction, and folklore to inquire about women's experiences, on the solid premise that because slave and free women were at the center of domestic life, they were central to whether slavery stood of fell as a social institution. She realizes that, in practice, slavery and its aftermath were a matter of relationships between people. Her point is that however twisted by abuses of power and struggles of resistance these relationships were, we need to grasp how they worked if we are to understand slavery's tenacious hold on minds as well as bodies." -- Steven M. Stowe, Journal of Interdisciplinary History "Weiner's thoughtful study of the relations between mistresses and slaves, her skillful use of their own words, and her careful explication of their behavior and beliefs about work, womanhood, and slavery before and after the Civil war, bring us much closer to understanding the historical complexities of race and gender in the nineteenth-century South." -- Jill Hough, H-SHEAR, H-Net Reviewsshow more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
5 22% (2)
4 0% (0)
3 67% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 11% (1)
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