Maria White Lowell

Document Type



English (Scripps)

Publication Date



American Literature | Literature in English, North America | Women's Studies


What one discovers, upon reviewing the case of Maria White Lowell, is that a mid-nineteenth-century white woman of intelligence and talent might, under certain circumstances, read interesting books, have a good marriage, write original poems, publish, give birth, and continue to prosper creatively. Her biography brings into focus the limits of the theory that all nineteenth-century women were rendered miserable and mute by the pressures of patriarchy. But Lowell's case cannot be generalized, since her relationship with her husband was extraordinary for any time, and her life, cut short by tuberculosis when the poet was only 32, was too brief to yield clear evidence of more than partial exemption.

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© 1998 Routledge

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