The two books under review draw our attention to very different cohorts of women writing in the antebellum period. Kent discusses white women who wrote antislavery literature in the decades leading up to the Civil War, and Stowe studies southern diarists who wrote during the war. Both books make relatively small mention of the most widely known writer (often considered representative) in their respective group: Harriet Beecher Stowe for Kent and Mary Boykin Chesnut for Stowe. Significantly, both Kent and Stowe invite us to think in new ways about the ramifications of the venues in which their subjects write: the quotidian diary for Stowe and the abolitionist press for Kent. Readers will appreciate the ways in which these deep studies of lesser-known writers expand and challenge what we think we know about those venues and genres.

Kent’s study carefully reviews four decades...

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