Ann D. Wood (essay date 1971)
SOURCE: “The ‘Scribbling Women’ and Fanny Fern: Why Women Wrote,” in American Quarterly, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, Spring, 1971, pp. 3-24.
[In the following essay, Wood discusses women's writing in mid-nineteenth-century America, with particular emphasis on Fanny Fern's Ruth Hall and how the novel deviated from what was considered “appropriate” writing for women.]
In January 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne penned a protest which was to be often quoted in later years, against the “d———d mob of scribbling women” who were, in his opinion, both capturing and corrupting the literary market. In a subsequent letter to the same correspondent, his publisher...
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