Anna E. Dickinson What Answer?

ISBN 13: 9781406861112

What Answer?

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This first and only novel by Anna E. Dickinson, the celebrated 19th-century orator, abolitionist, and advocate of racial equality and women's rights, attracted tremendous interest when it first appeared in the fall of 1868, and was enthusiastically endorsed by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Set in the midst of the Civil War, the controversial plot traces the tragic history of an interracial marriage doomed to disaster.

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From the Publisher:

"It is one of those books which belong to the class of DEEDS not WORDS," declared Harriet Beecher Stowe. "If anybody can read that book unmoved, we have only pity for him"

With these words, the celebrated author of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN announced her official approval of Anna Elizabeth Dickinson's new novel, WHAT ANSWER?

About the Author:

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was born on October 28, 1842, in Philadelphia. She was the youngest of five children of Quakers John Dickinson, a dry-goods merchant, and Mary Edmondson Dickinson. Her father died when she was two years old. She received her early education from her mother and had five years of formal education, mainly at Friend's Select School of Philadelphia. Raised in modest circumstances, at age fifteen Dickinson went to work as a copyist and later as a schoolteacher.

The Dickinson home was reportedly a station on the Underground Railroad. At age thirteen Dickinson had an antislavery article published in William Lloyd Garrison's paper, the "Liberator". In 1860 she gave her first public speech, addressing the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. In 1861 she gave her first paid lecture on "The Rights and Wrongs of Women," arguing for women's suffrage and their entrance into the professions.

In 1861 Dickinson lost the job she then held at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, for accusing General George B. McClennan of treason in the loss of the Battle of Ball's Bluff. She again turned to the lecture circuit, where the press hailed her as the "juvenile Joan of Arc." In 1863 Radical Republican leaders in New Hampshire and Connecticut hired her as a campaign speaker. In January 1864 she addressed a gathering, including President and Mrs. Lincoln, in the hall of the House of Representatives, calling for Lincoln's reelection.

After the Civil War Dickinson was an important speaker on the lyceum circuit, lecturing on racial prejudice, big business, the double standard of sexual behavior, and the liberation of women from the financial and legal control of fathers and husbands. She published WHAT ANSWER? (1868), a novel about interracial marriage; A PAYING INVESTMENT (1876), on various social reforms; and a memoir, A RAGGED REGISTER: OF PEOPLE, PLACES, AND OPINIONS (1879).

By 1873 Dickinson's popularity as a lecturer declined, and she turned to writing and acting for the theater. In 1876 she appeared in her own play, "A Crown of Thorns," but critics ridiculed her work. While most of her other plays remained unproduced, "An American Girl" was a success for actress Fanny Davenport in 1880. After she was ridiculed for her portrayal of Hamlet, Dickinson retired from public view.

In 1888 Dickinson again appeared as a platform speaker for the Republican National Committee, but it is alleged that her language was so caustic she was an embarassment and was let go. In 1891 she was involuntarily confined for a short stay in the State Hospital for the Insane in Danville, Pennsylvania. Upon her release she sued those responsible for committing her and was awarded nominal damages.

After 1891 Dickinson lived in several places in New York and Pennsylvania, and finally settled at Goshen, New York, where she died on October 22, 1932.

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Book Description Echo Library, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This first and only novel by Anna E. Dickinson, the celebrated 19th-century orator, abolitionist, and advocate of racial equality and women s rights, attracted tremendous interest when it first appeared in the fall of 1868, and was enthusiastically endorsed by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Set in the midst of the Civil War, the controversial plot traces the tragic history of an interracial marriage doomed to disaster. Seller Inventory # AAV9781406861112

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Book Description Echo Library, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This first and only novel by Anna E. Dickinson, the celebrated 19th-century orator, abolitionist, and advocate of racial equality and women s rights, attracted tremendous interest when it first appeared in the fall of 1868, and was enthusiastically endorsed by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Set in the midst of the Civil War, the controversial plot traces the tragic history of an interracial marriage doomed to disaster. Seller Inventory # AAV9781406861112

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