Emily Hamilton and Other Writings

Emily Hamilton and Other Writings

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Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
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Binding: Paperback
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Sukey Vickery's Emily Hamilton is an epistolary novel dealing with the courtship and marriages of three women. Originally published in 1803, it is one of the earliest examples of realist fiction in America and a departure from other novels at the turn of the nineteenth century. From the outset its author intended it as a realist project, never delving into the overly sentimental plotting or characterization present in much of the writing of Vickery's contemporaries. Emily Hamilton explores from a decidedly feminine perspective the idea of a woman's right to choose her own spouse and the importance of female friendship. Vickery's characterization of women further diverges from the typical eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century didactic of the righteous/sinful woman and depicts, instead, believable female characters exhibiting true-to-life behavior. A presentation of this novel accompanied by Vickery's poetry, letters, a diary fragment, and a few nineteenth-century responses to her work, Emily Hamilton and Other Writings is the first complete collection of Vickery's writings. Sukey Vickery was born in Leicester, Massachusetts on June 12, 1779. At age 22, she became a published poet when her poems appeared in the Massachusetts Spy. Two years later she published the epistolary novel Emily Hamilton. After her marriage in 1804, she ceased to publish her work, but continued writing. She died unexpectedly at the age of forty-two. Scott Slawinski (PhD, University of South Carolina, 2002) is an assistant professor of English at Western Michigan University. He is the author of Validating Bachelorhood: Audience, Patriarchy, and Charles Brockden Brown's Editorship of the Monthly Magazine and American Review (Routledge, 2005).