By Melissa J. Homestead
Via an exploration of girls authors'engagements with copyright and married girls estate legislation, American ladies authors and Literary estate, 1822-1869, revises nineteenth-century American literary historical past, making women's authorship and copyright legislations relevant. utilizing case experiences of 5 well known fiction writers Catharine Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, Augusta Evans, and Mary Virginia Terhunee, dwelling house exhibits how the convergence of copyright and coverture either fostered and restricted white women's business enterprise as authors. ladies authors exploited their prestige as nonproprietary matters to virtue by means of adapting themselves to a copyright legislations that privileged readers entry to literature over authors estate rights. Homesteads' inclusion of the Confederacy during this paintings sheds gentle at the centrality of copyright to nineteenth-century American nationalisms and at the strikingly diversified building of author-reader kinfolk less than U.S. and accomplice copyright legislation.
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Additional info for American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869
Most married women authors (at least in the United States) who actually experienced the sort of marital rupture experienced by Phemie kept such ruptures private, making the results of such ruptures the subject of gossip and speculation rather than a platform for reformist rhetoric. Terhune’s happy marriage was widely publicized, and no reader would have been in danger of thinking that the novel represented her life. Readers may, however, have been rightly tempted to read the novel as a roman a` clef about some other woman author, particularly Terhune’s fellow popular novelist E.
In the interstices between these two interpretations of women’s experiences of authorship, I locate a productive friction in women’s engagements with the market, engagements mediated both by copyright law and by laws affecting the status of women. Coverture as a legal doctrine and an ideology shaped the status of all nonslave women, and as a result, women authors faced P1: KsF/ICD 0521853826int 0 521 85382 6 CUNY038B/Homestead July 22, 2005 15:0 Introduction 19 challenges not faced by their male peers.
Lydia Maria Child, Mary Gove Nichols, and E. D. E. N. Southworth provide concrete examples of the legal maneuverings of women authors facing difficulties as they attempted to separate their financial affairs from those of destitute, or even devious, husbands. S. federalism would have only complicated an already complex situation. ”32 The Constitution reserved the power to grant copyrights for published works exclusively to the federal government. The common law, however, which varied from state to state, granted a limited form of protection to unpublished works; and married women’s property laws, both common law and statutory, also varied from state to state.
American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 by Melissa J. Homestead