Download Blood and Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the by Sarah E. Gardner PDF

By Sarah E. Gardner

Through the Civil battle, its devastating aftermath, and the a long time following, many southern white girls became to writing with the intention to make experience in their stories. Combining various ancient and literary resources, Sarah Gardner argues that ladies served as guardians of the collective reminiscence of the battle and helped outline and reshape southern id. Gardner considers such famous authors as Caroline Gordon, Ellen Glasgow, and Margaret Mitchell and likewise recovers works via lesser-known writers comparable to Mary Ann Cruse, Mary Noailles Murfree, and Varina Davis. In fiction, biographies, inner most papers, academic texts, historic writings, and during the paintings of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, southern white ladies sought to inform and defend what they thought of to be the reality concerning the conflict. yet this fact assorted in response to ancient situation and the process the clash. in simple terms within the aftermath of defeat did a extra unified imaginative and prescient of the southern reason emerge. but Gardner unearths the lifestyles of a powerful group of accomplice ladies who have been aware of their shared attempt to outline a brand new and compelling imaginative and prescient of the southern struggle adventure. In demonstrating the effect of this imaginative and prescient, Gardner highlights the function of the written notice in defining a brand new cultural id for the postbellum South.

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Extra info for Blood and Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937

Example text

Military service removed many men from their customary roles as heads of families, forcing women to run their households and thus severely limiting the time available for writing. Furthermore, the exigencies of the war taxed most publishers’ everyday operations, sharply curtailing the quantity and quality of works in print. Northern publishers, which before the war had been at best reluctant to print works penned by southern women writers, were now completely cut off, forcing southern authors to turn to smaller southern firms.

The future of the Southern country is as glorious as ever were those of Italy or Greece,’’ wrote O’Connor early in Heroine of the Confederacy, ‘‘and her brightness and best days are but dawning. ’’ 43 Unburdened by defeat, wartime writers could imagine a future for the independent southern nation. Although these narratives form the foundation for the dominant trope in postwar southern writing, the myth of the Lost Cause, they remain free from the myth they created. Because postwar authors knew the ending, they could infuse their narratives with a pervasive sense of defeat.

Confederate women believed that Union soldiers deemed nothing sacred, noting that they destroyed livestock, larders, and personal possessions while marching across the South. McDonald, who lived with her nine children during the war, contemptuously recalled the Federal occupation of her town. McDonald’s anger flared when she found a soldier rifling through her desk. ‘‘He . . ’’ Learning that the Union raiders planned to ‘‘starve out the women and children,’’ Elmore questioned the tactic of bringing the war to noncombatants: ‘‘God in Heaven!

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