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Juanita a Romance of Real Life in Cuba Fifty Years Ago

by Mary Tyler Peabody Mann

  • ISBN: 9780813919553
  • ISBN10: 081391955X

Juanita a Romance of Real Life in Cuba Fifty Years Ago

by Mary Tyler Peabody Mann

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Virginia Pr
  • Publish date: 10/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780813919553
  • ISBN10: 081391955X
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Description: Originally published in 1887 and never before reprinted, Juanita is a historical romance based on Mary Peabody Mann's experience of living on a Cuban slaveholder's plantation from 1833 to 1835. The novel centers on the extended visit of Helen Wentworth, a New England teacher, to a childhood friend's plantation, where she witnesses African slaves' arrivals and their sale and gross mistreatment at the hands of coffee and sugar planters. Juanita is a beautiful mulatta slave with whom the plantation owner's son falls in love. Extending the tradition of Gothic fiction in the Americas, Mann's novel raises questions about the relation of slavery in the Caribbean to that in the United States, and between romance and race, adding an important element to our understanding of nineteenth-century American literature.

A surprising number of middle-class women from the United States traveled to Cuba in the early nineteenth century, but few stayed as long or possessed the literary gifts and intellectual connections of Mary Peabody Mann. Her sister Sophia, with whom she traveled, married Nathaniel Hawthorne. Mann worked with her husband, the educational reformer Horace Mann, and with her sister Elizabeth Peabody, who founded the kindergarten movement in the United States. In addition, she held close friendships with her neighbors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry. David Thoreau. The reissue of Juanita thus introduces contemporary readers to a neglected novel by a woman placed at the very center of the American Renaissance and American reform movements.

Patricia M. Ard's introductory essay reinvigorates the place of women writers in the period, and it extends the critical discussion surroundingHawthorne's use of the romance in his fiction by showing possible mutual influences between Mann and Hawthorne. Ard also discusses how Mann shares with her contemporary Harriet Beecher Stowe a liberal, Christian-centered, maternal consciousness, as well as an anxiety about race, which is evident in the color hierarchy among her slave characters. Viewed in this light, Juanita raises significant questions about the motives and effectiveness of antislavery feminist authors and informs our understanding of canonical texts such as Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861).

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Seller: Michener & Rutledge Bookseller
Location: Baldwin City, KS
Condition: Very Good
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081391955x. Text clean and tight; no dust jacket; 9.32 X 6.26 X 0.91 inches; 222 pages.
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$56.25
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081391955x. Text clean and tight; no dust jacket; 9.32 X 6.26 X 0.91 inches; 222 pages.
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