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Mothers of invention : [electronic resource] women of the slaveholding South in the American Civil War / Drew Gilpin Faust.

By: Faust, Drew Gilpin.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Fred W. Morrison series in Southern studies: Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1996Description: xvi, 326 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 0807822558 (alk. paper); 9780807822555 (alk. paper).Subject(s): United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Women | Women -- Confederate States of America -- History | Confederate States of America -- History | Vrouwen | Sezessionskrieg <1861-1865> | Frau | USA / SüdstaatenAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Mothers of invention.DDC classification: 973.7/15042 Other classification: 15.85 Online resources: Book review (H-Net) | Publisher description | Free eBook from the Internet Archive | Additional information and access via Open Library
Contents:
What shall we do?: women confront the crisis -- World of femininity: changed households and changing lives -- Enemies in our households: confederate women and slavery -- We must go to work, too -- We little knew: husbands and wives -- To be an old maid: single women, courtship, and desire -- Imaginary life: reading and writing -- Though thou slay us: women and religion --
To relieve my bottled wrath: Confederate women and Yankee men -- If I were once released: the garb of gender -- Sick and tired of this horrid war: patriotism, sacrifice, and self-interest.
Summary: When Confederate men marched off to battle, white women across the South confronted unaccustomed and unsought responsibilities: directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. As southern women struggled "to do a man's business," they found themselves compelled to reconsider their most fundamental assumptions about their identities and about the larger meaning of womanhood. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis.Summary: According to Faust, the most privileged of southern women experienced the destruction of war as both a social and a personal upheaval: the prerogatives of whiteness and the protections of ladyhood began to dissolve as the Confederacy weakened and crumbled. Faust draws on the eloquent diaries, letters, essays, memoirs, fiction, and poetry of more than 500 of the Confederacy's elite women to show that with the disintegration of slavery and the disappearance of prewar prosperity, every part of these women's lives became vexed and uncertain. But it was not just females who worried about the changing nature of gender relations in the wartime South; Confederate political discourse and popular culture - plays, novels, songs, and paintings - also negotiated the changed meanings of womanhood.Summary: Exploring elite Confederate women's wartime experiences as wives, mothers, nurses, teachers, slave managers, authors, readers, and survivors, this book chronicles the clash of the old and the new within a group that was at once the beneficiary and the victim of the social order of the Old South. Mothers of Invention show how people managed both to change and not to change and how their personal transformations related to a larger world of society and politics. Beautifully written and eminently readable, this study of women and war is a pathbreaking and definitive study of the forgotten half of the Confederacy's master class.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 259-312) and index.

ch. 1. What shall we do?: women confront the crisis -- ch. 2. World of femininity: changed households and changing lives -- ch. 3. Enemies in our households: confederate women and slavery -- ch. 4. We must go to work, too -- ch. 5. We little knew: husbands and wives -- ch. 6. To be an old maid: single women, courtship, and desire -- ch. 7. Imaginary life: reading and writing -- ch. 8. Though thou slay us: women and religion --

ch. 9. To relieve my bottled wrath: Confederate women and Yankee men -- ch. ch. 10. If I were once released: the garb of gender -- ch. 11. Sick and tired of this horrid war: patriotism, sacrifice, and self-interest.

When Confederate men marched off to battle, white women across the South confronted unaccustomed and unsought responsibilities: directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. As southern women struggled "to do a man's business," they found themselves compelled to reconsider their most fundamental assumptions about their identities and about the larger meaning of womanhood. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis.

According to Faust, the most privileged of southern women experienced the destruction of war as both a social and a personal upheaval: the prerogatives of whiteness and the protections of ladyhood began to dissolve as the Confederacy weakened and crumbled. Faust draws on the eloquent diaries, letters, essays, memoirs, fiction, and poetry of more than 500 of the Confederacy's elite women to show that with the disintegration of slavery and the disappearance of prewar prosperity, every part of these women's lives became vexed and uncertain. But it was not just females who worried about the changing nature of gender relations in the wartime South; Confederate political discourse and popular culture - plays, novels, songs, and paintings - also negotiated the changed meanings of womanhood.

Exploring elite Confederate women's wartime experiences as wives, mothers, nurses, teachers, slave managers, authors, readers, and survivors, this book chronicles the clash of the old and the new within a group that was at once the beneficiary and the victim of the social order of the Old South. Mothers of Invention show how people managed both to change and not to change and how their personal transformations related to a larger world of society and politics. Beautifully written and eminently readable, this study of women and war is a pathbreaking and definitive study of the forgotten half of the Confederacy's master class.

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