Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist by Anne Boyd Rioux

By Anne Boyd Rioux

"Biography at its top goals at resurrection. Anne Boyd Rioux has introduced the novelist Constance Fenimore Woolson again to existence for us. Hurrah!" —Robert D. Richardson, writer of the Bancroft Prize–winning William James: within the Maelstrom of yankee Modernism

Constance Fenimore Woolson (1840–1894), who contributed to Henry James’s belief of his heroine Isabelle Archer in The Portrait of a Lady, was once essentially the most finished American writers of the 19th century. but this day the best-known (and most-misunderstood) evidence of her existence are her courting with James and her possible suicide in Venice. this primary full-length biography of Woolson offers a fuller photograph that reaffirms her literary stature.

Uncovering new resources, Anne Boyd Rioux inspires Woolson’s dramatic lifestyles. She was once a grand-niece of James Fenimore Cooper and used to be born in New Hampshire, yet her family’s unwell fortunes drove them west to Cleveland. Raised to be a standard girl, Woolson was once still thrust through her father’s loss of life into the position of breadwinner, and but, as a author, she reached for severe up to financial reward.

Known for her powerfully lifelike and empathetic pictures of publish Civil–War American lifestyles, Woolson created compelling and sophisticated portrayals of the agricultural Midwest, Reconstruction-era South, and the previously Spanish Florida, to which she traveled along with her invalid mom. After her mother’s dying, Woolson, with support from her sister, moved to Europe the place expenditures have been reduce, dwelling regularly in England and Italy and spending a number of months in Egypt. whereas in another country, she wrote finely crafted foreign-set tales that presage Edith Wharton’s paintings of the following generation.

In this wealthy biography, Rioux unearths an incredibly proficient and devoted artist who pursued and bought critical attractiveness regardless of the problems confronted by means of lady authors of her day. all through, Rioux is going deep into Woolson’s personality, her struggle opposed to melancholy, her assets for writing, and her intimate friendships, together with with Henry James, portray an engrossing portrait of a girl and author who merits to be extra widely recognized today.

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