Book 8 of 8:
Eminent women of the age: being narratives of the lives and deeds of the most prominent women of the present generation.
By James Parton, Horace Greeley, T.W. Higginson, J.S.C. Abbott, Prof. James M. Hoppin, William Winter, Theodore Tilton, Fanny Fern, Grace Greenwood, Mrs. E.C. Stanton, etc.
Richly illustrated with fourteen steel engravings.
Hartford, Conn.: S.M. Betts & Company; Chicago, Ill.: Gibbs & Nichols; St. Louis, Mo.: F.A. Hutchinson & Co.; San Francisco, Cal.: H.H. Bancroft & Co., 1869 (Hartford, Conn.: Manufactured by Case, Lockwood & Brainard).
628 pages, 23 cm (8vo) -- Signatures: -398 404 -- Green cloth covers with gilt decoration on spine and front cover; gilt edges. -- Lovejoy Library catalog record.
This work celebrates diverse achievements by 19th century women. Biographical groupings include "pioneer educators," "women of the drama," and "women as physicians." Activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton contributes a piece titled "The woman's rights movement and its champions in the United States." Empress Eugenie and Queen Victoria are the most traditional women profiled according to Otis Tufton Mason's thesis in Woman's Share in Primitive Culture.
The variety of activities valued here can be read as a maturing society's response to Wilkes' A Letter of Genteel and Moral Advice. The accomplishments prized in that work emphasized woman's relation to man: her identities as his pleasing companion, mother to his children, manager of his house. Over 100 years later, "eminent women" include those who define themselves by their relation to other women as educators or activists, or independently as actresses, artists, and doctors.
The book contains fourteen stunning portraits of selected biographees by engravers Augustus Robin, G.E. Perine & Co., and H.B. Hall, Jr. Among them are Margaret Fuller, author of Woman in the Nineteenth Century, and Emma Willard, contributor to Woman in the Higher Education. There is also an added engraved title page with a portrait of Florence Nightingale reading a book.