american liter ary r ealism 44, 1 the earliest selection in the collection: Judith Sargent Murray's poem "The Rage for Writing" (1801), which mocks the writer who believes she has talent because she "can fill a page" or declare "a creed." While many well-known women writers are included in the collection, a significant aspect of Wielding the Pen's value lies in the inclusion of lesserknown writers. Surely one of the most understudied literary and cultural critics of the nineteenth century is Helen Gray Cone. That her essay "Woman in American Literature" (1890) begins with an epigraph from Anne Bradstreet's "The Prologue" (1650) suggests the breadth of knowledge about the history of women's writing that was a part of this literary conversation among women writers and the public. Cone's essay also turns to the potential for expanding Boyd's contributions to the field--the inclusion of women writers from other nations who influenced and were influenced by U.S. women writers. Boyd's collection should be on every nineteenthcentury scholar's desk, as it marks an important new turn in understanding literary production in this era. SHARON M. HARRIS University of Connecticut Theodore Dreiser: Letters to Women. New Letters, Volume 2. Ed. Thomas P.
American Literary Realism – University of Illinois Press
Published: Sep 21, 2011
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