American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 by Melissa J. Homestead

By Melissa J. Homestead

Via an exploration of ladies authors'engagements with copyright and married ladies estate legislation, American ladies authors and Literary estate, 1822-1869, revises nineteenth-century American literary heritage, making women's authorship and copyright legislations vital. utilizing case reports of 5 renowned fiction writers Catharine Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, Augusta Evans, and Mary Virginia Terhunee, home exhibits how the convergence of copyright and coverture either fostered and restricted white women's company as authors. girls authors exploited their prestige as nonproprietary topics to virtue by means of adapting themselves to a copyright legislation that privileged readers entry to literature over authors estate rights. Homesteads' inclusion of the Confederacy during this paintings sheds gentle at the centrality of copyright to nineteenth-century American nationalisms and at the strikingly varied development of author-reader kin lower than U.S. and accomplice copyright legislation.

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E]ven if a husband renounces his power, his wife’s freedom is always contingent on his willingness to continue the 21 Commentaries on Equity Jurisprudence, 2 vols. , 1836), II:597. 22 Tapping Reeve, The Law of Baron and Femme; of Parent and Child; of Guardian and Ward; of Master and Servant; and of the Powers of the Courts of Chancery (New Haven: Oliver Steele, 1816), 182; John Edward Bright, A Treatise on the Law of Husband and Wife, as Respects Property, ed. Ralph Lockwood, 2 vols. , 1850), chap.

Scribner points to the persistence of the intersection between coverture and copyright. From the vantage point of this dispute, I briefly look forward from 1892 to consider the implications of my study for literary history and for the future of copyright law in the twenty-first century. The events that feature prominently in my case studies (particularly in my chapters on Stowe, Fern, Evans, and Terhune) do not appear at all in Private Woman, Public Stage, Mary Kelley’s influential collective biography of a group of nineteenth-century women popular novelists and their perceptions of themselves as authors, even though all of my primary figures are also primary figures in her study.

6 Terhune was neither a feminist nor an abolitionist, and her use of the trope clearly serves to write black slaves out of slavery. Terhune wrote Phemie after the Union victory in the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves. Born and raised in Virginia in a Whig family, she moved North when her Northern husband accepted a call to a church in New Jersey, and during the war she supported the Union. However, she did not support abolition, and she indignantly portrays Phemie as her husband’s chattel not to protest the injustice of the abolished institution of chattel slavery (she did not believe the institution to be unjust – at least when the chattel were persons of African descent in the southern states).

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