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A Notorious Woman

Anne Royall in Jacksonian America

Elizabeth J. Clapp (author)

ISBN: 9780813938363

Publication Date: Mar 2016

Format: Hardback

During her long career as a public figure in Jacksonian America, Anne Royall was called everything from an “enemy of religion” to a “Jackson man” to a “common scold”. In her search for the source of such strong reactions, Elizabeth Clapp has uncovered the story of a widely read woman of letters who asserted her right to a political voice without regard to her gender.
£40.95

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During her long career as a public figure in Jacksonian America, Anne Royall was called everything from an "enemy of religion" to a "Jackson man" to a "common scold." In her search for the source of such strong reactions, Elizabeth Clapp has uncovered the story of a widely read woman of letters who asserted her right to a political voice without regard to her gender.

Widowed and in need of a livelihood following a disastrous lawsuit over her husband’s will, Royall decided to earn her living through writing--first as a travel writer, journeying through America to research and sell her books, and later as a journalist and editor. Her language and forcefully expressed opinions provoked people at least as much as did her inflammatory behavior and aggressive marketing tactics. An ardent defender of American liberties, she attacked the agents of evangelical revivals, the Bank of the United States, and corruption in government. Her positions were frequently extreme, directly challenging the would-be shapers of the early republic’s religious and political culture. She made many enemies, but because she also attracted many supporters, she was not easily silenced. The definitive account of a passionate voice when America was inventing itself, A Notorious Woman re-creates a fascinating stage on which women’s roles, evangelical hegemony, and political involvement were all contested.

Reviews

I am always looking for evidence to challenge my students’ assumptions that America was from the start a united, pure, religious nation. A few minutes with Anne Royall and the realization of how strongly supported she was in the larger culture will dispel such notions. This excellent book is the first scholarly consideration of Royall’s life, a cradle-to-grave biography and one we shouldn’t take for granted: just telling the life of a woman, through words and action, is still the number one mission of women’s history." — Catherine Allgor, the Huntington Library, author of A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation

"Deeply researched, convincingly argued, and appealingly written, A Notorious Woman makes a notable contribution to the history of nineteenth-century U.S. politics and print culture, and women’s place within those arenas. As the first serious recent biographer of Anne Royall, Elizabeth Clapp dispenses once and for all with nineteenth-century caricatures of her subject and presents Royall as a complete and comprehensible human being who forged a visible publishing career within the brash, roiling print culture of her times. Historians and literary scholars, along with scholars of politics, gender, and women’s rights, will find this book illuminating." — Anne M. Boylan, University of Delaware, author of Women’s Rights in the United States: A History in Documents
Illustrations 1 map
Pages 280
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 9 Mar 2016
Publisher University of Virginia Press
Subject/s History of the Americas   Gender studies: women   Biography & True Stories  
Elizabeth J. Clapp is Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of Leicester, UK, and the author of Mothers of All Children: Women Reformers and the Rise of Juvenile Courts in Progressive Era America.

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