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Louisa May Alcott is known universally. Yet during Louisa's youth, the famous Alcott was her father, Bronson--an eminent teacher and a friend of Emerson and Thoreau. He desired perfection, for the world and from his family. Louisa challenged him with her mercurial moods and yearnings for money and fame. The other prize she deeply coveted--her father's understanding--seemed hardest to win. This story of Bronson and Louisa's tense yet loving relationship adds dimensions to Louisa's life, her work, and the relationships of fathers and daughters.<P><P> Pulitzer Prize Winner
A spirited freethinker amid an oppressive Puritan community, Hope Leslie champions independence for women and justice for Native Americans. Her best friend Magawisca, the daughter of a Pequot chief, defies tribal authority to rescue a white man from death and restore a kidnapped girl to her family. This frontier novel paints an intriguing portrait of life in seventeenth-century New England as it explores the tumultuous relations between Puritans and Pequots.Author Catharine Sedgwick ranks among the founders of American literature. Her richly plotted books abound in unforgettable characters like Hope Leslie, whose challenges to the social order range from rejecting a unwanted suitor to freeing wrongfully imprisoned Indians. Packed with politics, philosophy, and romance, this novel offers a fascinating depiction of women's efforts to build the new republic and claim their rightful place in history.
"Psychologically rich. . . . Matteson's book restores the heroism of [Fuller's] life and work."--The New Yorker A brilliant writer and a fiery social critic, Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was perhaps the most famous American woman of her generation. Outspoken and quick-witted, idealistic and adventurous, she became the leading female figure in the transcendentalist movement, wrote a celebrated column of literary and social commentary for Horace Greeley's newspaper, and served as the first foreign correspondent for an American newspaper. While living in Europe she fell in love with an Italian nobleman, with whom she became pregnant out of wedlock. In 1848 she joined the fight for Italian independence and, the following year, reported on the struggle while nursing the wounded within range of enemy cannons. Amid all these strivings and achievements, she authored the first great work of American feminism: Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Despite her brilliance, however, Fuller suffered from self-doubt and was plagued by ill health. John Matteson captures Fuller's longing to become ever better, reflected by the changing lives she led.
Based on a terrifying real-life incident, this tale of seduction, insanity, and murder is one of America's earliest novels. It unfolds in rural Pennsylvania of the 1760s, where a religious fanatic massacres several members of his family. Part thriller and part psychological drama, it explores the corruption of law and order within a small community. The American Gothic style of author Charles Brockden Brown combines intellectual and supernatural elements -- a literary mode that influenced later authors such as Poe and Hawthorne. Wieland, his best-known work, was acclaimed by John Keats as "very powerful" and by John Greenleaf Whittier as "a remarkable story." Interpreted variously as a historical parable, an allegorical view of the writing process, and a cautionary tale of unbridled religious fervor, this novel reflects the colonial era's social and political anxieties and offers intriguing glimpses of the American mood at the close of the eighteenth century.
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