By Wendy Dasler Johnson
Considering the logos, ethos, and pathos—aims, writing personae, and viewers appeal—of poems by way of African American abolitionist Frances Watkins Harper, working-class prophet Lydia Huntley Sigourney, and feminist socialite Julia Ward Howe, Wendy Dasler Johnson demonstrates that sentimental poetry was once an inportant element of antebellum social activism. She articulates the ethos of the poems of Harper, who provides herself as a thoroughly family black girl, however stepping boldly into Northern pulpits to insist slavery be abolished; the poetry of Sigourney, whose speaker is a feisty, working-class, ambiguously gendered prophet; and the works of Howe, who juggles her popularity because the reformist “Battle Hymn” lyricist and motherhood of 5 teenagers with an erotic Continental sentimentalism.
Antebellum American Women's Poetry makes a powerful case for recovery of a compelling process of persuasion via poetry frequently brushed off from stories of rhetoric. This extraordinary booklet will swap the best way we predict approximately women’s rhetoric within the 19th century, inviting readers to listen to and reply to pressing, muffled appeals for justice in our personal day.
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Antebellum American Women's Poetry: A Rhetoric of Sentiment (Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms) by Wendy Dasler Johnson