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About the Book

Beyond the Book

<span style="" >The Limits of Sisterhood</span>

393 pp., 6.125 x 9.25

Gender and American Culture

ISBN  978-0-8078-4207-2
Published: April 1988

The Limits of Sisterhood

The Beecher Sisters on Women's Rights and Woman's Sphere

By Jeanne Boydston, Mary Kelley and Anne Margolis

In a century almost continually at odds with the proper place of females, Catherine Esther Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Isabella Beecher Hooker shared a commitment to women's power. Although they did not always agree on the nature of that power, each in her own way--Catherine as educator and author of advice literature; Harriet as author of novels, tales, and sketches; and Isabella as a women's rights advocate--devoted much of her adult life to elevating women's status and expanding women's influence.

About the Author

Jeanne Boydston, associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is author of Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic. Mary Kelley is Ruth Bordin Collegiate Professor of History, American Culture, and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Anne Margolis, formerly assistant professor of English and American studies at Williams College, has edited the papers of Isabella Beecher Hooker and is currently a student at Western New England College School of Law.


"A sophisticated blend of the authors' analysis of the 19th-century debate over women's rights and the letters of Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Isabella Beecher Hooker. . . . The introductory essays for each section do draw upon the latest scholarship and enhance the usefulness of the book for student and scholar."

"A fascinating account of the three Beecher sisters, participants in the debate concerning women's rights that emerged in the wake of the Civil War. As the authors deftly demonstrate, the siblings influenced each other throughout their lives, and shared a commitment to female power, although their visions often differed."
--Publishers Weekly

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