Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

Selected Tales, Essays, and Poems

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
Edited by Elizabeth Duquette and Cheryl Tevlin
Introduction by Elizabeth Duquette

Legacies of Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers Series

304 pages

Paperback

June 2014

978-0-8032-4397-2

$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

The well-educated daughter of a minister, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844–1911) was introduced to writing at a young age, as both her mother and father were published writers. In 1868 she published her first major novel, The Gates Ajar. An international success, the novel sold more than six hundred thousand copies, making it one of the best-selling American works of the nineteenth century. Through the next four decades Phelps published hundreds of essays, tales, and poems, which appeared in every major American periodical, while also writing novels, including Beyond the Gates (1883) and The Gates Between (1887).

Phelps’s legacy as an important American writer, however, has been hurt by the seeming contradictions between her life and work. For example, she was an ardent advocate for women’s rights both inside and outside marriage, but her stories seem to glorify the sort of extreme self-sacrifice associated with the most conservative domestic ideology. In this collection, the editors seek to restore Phelps’s reputation by bringing together a diverse collection from the entire body of her lifetime of work. From arguments for suffrage to harrowing tales of Reconstruction, these essays, along with short fiction and poetry, provide a new perspective on a major American writer from the later nineteenth century.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Duquette is an associate professor of English at Gettysburg College. She is the author of Loyal Subjects: Bonds of Nation, Race, and Allegiance in Nineteenth-Century America. Cheryl Tevlin graduated summa cum laude from Gettysburg College in 2010.

Praise

"A welcome contribution to the ongoing 'reconsideration of Phelps's place in American literary history'".—Susan S. Williams, Legacy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Editor’s Introduction
Note on the Text

Tales
The Tenth of January
Dr. Trotty
A Woman’s Pulpit
Since I Died
Fourteen to One: A True Story
The Rejected Manuscript
The Oath of Allegiance
Dea ex Machina

Essays
What Shall They Do?
The Higher Claim
Unhappy Girls
Selections from “Woman’s Dress (In Four Parts)”
II. Is It Healthful?
IV. What Can Be Done about It?
A Dream within a Dream
What Is a Fact?
Women’s Views of Divorce
The Moral Element in Fiction
The Short Story

Poems
Divided
Apple Blossoms
Stronger than Death
Afterward
George Eliot—Her Jury
Elaine and Elaine
The Lost Colors

Notes
Index

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