Lydia Maria Child

by Lydia Maria Francis

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Further Reading

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Baer, Helene G. The Heart Is Like Heaven: The Life of Lydia Maria Child. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1964, 339 p.

Standard biography that includes a copy of Child's last will and testament and a brief primary and secondary bibliography.

Clifford, Deborah Pickman. Crusader for Freedom: A Life of Lydia Maria Child. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992, 367 p.

Biography in which Clifford "attempts to convey something of the complexity of [Child's] character and the variety of her interests and concerns as a writer and reformer, in order that she may resume her rightful place as one of the most important and influential American women of the nineteenth century." Includes a brief selected bibliography.

Meltzer, Milton. Tongue of Flame: The Life of Lydia Maria Child. New York: Crowell, 1965, 210 p.

Biography based on Child's writings and correspondence. Contains a short primary and secondary bibliography.


Baym, Nina. "Catharine Sedgwick and Other Early Novelists." In Woman 's Fiction: A Guide to Novels by and about Women in America, 1820-1870, pp. 51-85. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1978.

Briefly discusses Child's place in nineteenth-century American literature.

Holland, Patricia G. "Lydia Maria Child As a Nineteenth-Century Professional Author." In Studies in American Renaissance, edited by Joel Myerson, pp. 157-67. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.

Uses Child as an example of how a professional female author navigated the limitations placed on her by the chauvinism of nineteenth-century America.

Karcher, Carolyn L. "Rape, Murder and Revenge in 'Slavery's Pleasant Homes': Lydia Maria Child's Antislavery Fiction and the Limits of Genre." Women's Studies International Forum 9, No. 4 (1986): 323-32.

Notes that Child was "hampered by romantic conventions and a code of gentility that barred 'vulgar' language, sordid details, and frank treat of sexuality."

——. "Censorship, American Style: The Case of Lydia Maria Child." In Studies in the American Renaissance, edited by Joel Myerson, pp. 283-303. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1986.

Traces the history of Child's antislavery tracts to examine the complexities of censorship in early American publishing.

——. "Lydia Maria Child's A Romance of the Republic: An Abolitionist Vision of America's Radical Destiny." In Slavery and the Literary Imagination, edited by Deborah E. McDowell and Arnold Rampersad, pp. 81-103. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

Comprehensive analysis of Child's last novel that explores both its radical abolitionist roots and the limits of its progressivism.

Osborne, William S. Lydia Maria Child. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980, 196 p.

General study of Child's life and works that focuses on her novels.

Additional coverage of Child's life and career is contained in the following sources published by Gale Research: Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 1, 74, and Something about the Author, Vol. 67.

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