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Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life
Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life by Kate Phillips 0520218043 9780520218048
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Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life by Kate Phillips

Novelist, travel writer, and essayist Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) was one of the most successful authors and most passionate intellects of her day. Ralph Waldo Emerson also regarded her as one of Americas greatest poets. Today Jackson is best remembered forRamona,a romantic novel set in the rural Southern Californian Indian andCaliforniocommunities of her day.Ramona,continuously in print for over a century, has become a cultural icon, but Jacksons prolific career left us with much more, notably her achievements as a prose writer and her work as an early activist on behalf of Native Americans. This long-overdue biography of Jacksons remarkable life and times reintroduces a distinguished figure in American letters and restores Helen Hunt Jackson to her rightful place in history. Discussing much new material, Kate Phillips makes extensive use of Jacksons unpublished private correspondence. She takes us from Jacksons early years in rural New England to her later pioneer days in Colorado and to her adventerous travels in Europe and Southern California. The book also gives the first in-depth discussions of Jacksons writing in every genre, her beliefs about race and religion, and the significance of her chronic illnesses. Phillips also discusses Jacksons intimate relationships--with her two husbands, her mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the famed actress Charlotte Cushman, and the poet Emily Dickinson. Phillips concludes with a re-evaluation ofRamona,discussing the novel as the earliest example of the California dystopian tradition in its portrayal of a state on the road to self-destruction, a tradition carried further by writers like Nathanael West and Joan Didion. In this gripping biography, Phillips offers fascinating glimpses of how social context both shaped and inspired Jacksons thinking, highlighting the inextricable presence of gender, race, and class in American literary history and culture and opening a new window onto the nineteenth century.

Author: Kate Phillips

Language: English

Edition: 1

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 408

Publisher: University of California Press

Publication Date: 2003-04-03

Our Price: $104.99

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ISBN: 0520218043


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Kate Phillips (Edition: 1) Hardcover

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