Across an Untried Sea: Discovering Lives Hidden in the Shadow of Convention and Time

Robinson Street Books: Used and Rare
Title Across an Untried Sea: Discovering Lives Hidden in the Shadow of Convention and Time
ISBN 0679445994
Author Markus, Julia
Keywords Cushman,,Charlotte,,1816-1876,,Actors,--,United,States,--,Biography,,Carlyle,,Jane,Welsh,,1801-1866,,Intellectuals,--,Great,Britain,--,Biography
Binding Hardcover
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf
Publisher Year 2000
Condition Fine
Description 0679445994 From Publishers Weekly Markus's latest foray into the world of Victorian passion describes the complexly intertwined circle of accomplished women who were involved with the American actress Charlotte Cushman in the mid-19th century. Among them were the sculptor Harriet Hosmer; the novelist Geraldine Jewsbery; the object of Geraldine's passionate attachment, Jane Welsh Carlyle (the wife of British historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle); and several others. All these women, save Jane, made their deepest emotional commitments to one another, often in a "Boston marriage," and may or may not have been sexually involved. However, Markus sheds very little light on the nature of these relationships or their historical context. We learn next to nothing about how these women managed to succeed in their independent careers at a time when women, especially in Britain, had virtually no autonomy. Indeed, because of the peculiarities of Markus's style, which mixes a Victorian fondness for exclamation points and italics with 20th-century slang, the unwary reader might have difficulty figuring out exactly when these women flourished. Markus, who previously dealt with the marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning in Dared and Done, appears to believe that the news that our ancestors were sexual beings is sufficient to carry a book. It is not. 73 illus. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal Basing her thoughtful study mainly on primary sources, Markus (English, Hofstra Univ.) explores the interlocking circles of female friendships among Victorian women, especially those associated with Jane Welsh Carlyle and Charlotte Cushman. Cushman was the most acclaimed actress in America and England in her day, and Carlyle, wife of Thomas Carlyle, is remembered for her volumes of letters. Both women attracted and supported other artistic and literary women, notably, in Cushman's case, the young American sculptors Harriet Hosmer and Emma Stebbins. Many of these independent women challenged conventional roles and society in their professional and private lives. Another recent and noteworthy study of Cushman is Lisa Merrill's When Romeo Was a Woman: Charlotte Cushman and Her Circle of Female Spectators (LJ 12/98). Appropriate for academic and large public libraries and women's studies collections. (Index not seen.)DPatricia A. Beaber, Coll. of New Jersey Lib., Ewing Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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