Elaine Showalter’s talk about her most recent book, The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe: A Biography, tells the story of Julia Ward Howe as a powerful feminist pioneer. Julia Ward (1819-1910) was an heiress who married a handsome accomplished doctor who worked with the blind and deaf. But Samuel Howe wasted her inheritance, mistreated and belittled her, and tried to stifle her intellect and freedom. Nevertheless Julia persisted and wrote poetry and a mildly shocking sexual novel that was published to good reviews. She also wrote the words to probably the most famous anthem in the country’s history—the Civil War anthem, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” After Samuel died when she was fifty-one, Julia lived another forty years as a dynamic, tireless, and successful activist for women’s rights, pacifism, and social reform. She became a groundbreaking figure in the abolitionist and suffrage movements, and a successful author and lecturer who fought her own battle for creative freedom and independence.
The lecture, which will be held in the historic Stable, will be followed by a tea and book signing. The doors will open at 10:15 a.m.
Elaine Showalter, critic, feminist, and leading scholar of women’s literature, is acknowledged to be a “founding mother” of the practice of feminist literary criticism. A Professor Emerita at Princeton University, where she taught for two decades and specialized in Victorian and Fin-de-Siècle literature, Showalter has also been a regular commentator on BBC radio and television, and former television critic for PEOPLE magazine. In 2007, Showalter served as chair of the judges of the Man Booker Prize, the most prestigious literary award of the British Commonwealth. Showalter has also served as a judge for the National Book Award in the United States, and the Orange Prize in the United Kingdom. In 2012, she received an honorary degree from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and she was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Refund requests will only be honored if made more than one week prior to lecture date.
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact Nicole Williams at 413-551-5100 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event. Caregivers are admitted free-of-charge.