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About the Author: Catharine Maria Sedgwick

Catharine Maria Sedgwick was born December 28, 1789 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. As a young woman, Sedgwick took charge of a school in Lenox. She converted from Calvinism to Unitarianism, which led her to write a pamphlet denouncing religious intolerance. This further inspired her to write her first novel, A New-England Tale.

With her work much in demand, from the 1820s to the 1850s, Sedgwick made a good living writing short stories for a variety of periodicals. She died in 1867, and by the end of the 19th century, she had been relegated to near obscurity. There was a rise of male critics who deprecated women's writing as they worked to create an American literature.

Interest in Sedgwick's works and an appreciation of her contribution to American literature has been stimulated by the late 20th century's feminist movement. Beginning in the 1960s, feminist scholars began to re-evaluate women's contributions to literature and other arts, and created new frames of reference for considering their work. In addition, the advent of low-cost electronic reproductions, which became available at the end of the 20th century, made Sedgwick and other nineteenth-century authors' work more accessible for study and pleasure.


Hope Leslie Cover Image

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Goodreads rating: 3.38

Paperback, by Read Books

ISBN10: 1445507706 | ISBN13: 9781445507705

Set in seventeenth-century New England, Hope Leslie (1827) portrays early American life and celebrates the role of women in building the republic. A counterpoint to the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, it challenges the conventional view of Indians, tackles interracial marriage and cross-cultural friendship, and claims for women their rightful place in history. At the center of the novel are two friends. Hope Leslie, a spirited thinker in a repressive Puritan society, fights for justice for the Indians and asserts the independence of women. Magawisca, the passionate daughter of a Pequot chief, braves her father's wrath to save a white man and risks her freedom to reunite Hope with her long-lost sister, captured as a child by the Pequots and now married to Magawisca's brother. Amply plotted, with unforgettable characters, Hope Leslie is a rich, compelling, deeply satisfying novel.

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