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UnavailableThe Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times
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The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times

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Momentan indisponibil pe Scribd

The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times

evaluări:
2.5/5 (2 evaluări)
Lungime:
434 pages
6 hours
Lansat:
Aug 10, 2010
ISBN:
9780802197054
Format:
Carte

Descriere

“Ilyon Woo presents the earliest child custody laws of this country with vivid relevance . . . both legal and feminist details are fascinating.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
The Great Divorce is the dramatic, richly textured story of one of nineteenth-century America’s most infamous divorce cases, in which a young mother single-handedly challenged her country’s notions of women’s rights, family, and marriage itself.
 
In 1814, Eunice Chapman came home to discover that her three children had been carried off by her estranged husband. He had taken them, she learned, to live among a celibate, religious people known as the Shakers. Defying all expectations, this famously petite and lovely woman mounted an epic campaign against her husband, the Shakers, and the law. In its confrontation of some of the nation’s most fundamental debates—religious freedom, feminine virtue, the sanctity of marriage—her case struck a nerve with an uncertain new republic. And its culmination—in a stunning legislative decision and a terrifying mob attack—sent shockwaves through the Shaker community and the nation beyond.
 
With a novelist’s eye and a historian’s perspective, Woo delivers the first full account of Eunice Chapman’s remarkable struggle. A moving story about the power of a mother’s love, The Great Divorce is also a memorable portrait of a rousing challenge to the values of a young nation.
 
“Modern Americans, bombarded with stories of celebrity divorces, probably assume that the tabloid breakup is a recent phenomenon. This lively, well-written and engrossing tale proves them wrong.” —The New York Times Book Review
Lansat:
Aug 10, 2010
ISBN:
9780802197054
Format:
Carte

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  • (1/5)
    Lost interest.
  • (4/5)
    Eunice Chapman was an ordinary woman at the turn of the 19th century in eastern New York. Married to the much older widower James, she quickly had three children but James couldn't abstain from alcohol. This began a life of searching for peace that Eunice couldn't abide. Jaems believed that life was with the new sect, the celebate Shakers, but Eunice didn't agree and refused to adopt the religion. Unfortunately social conventions and laws gave ownership fo the children to James. He took them to Watervilet and thus began a five year odyssey to reclaim the children by Eunice. In the interm the New York state legislature passed a law granting Eunice a divorce, the only one granted by this body to date.Woo creates a well rounded account of this legal and social dance, giving the reader the facts without prejudice, making the reader want to cheer for each side alternatively. Woo digs out the story from buried letters, Shaker record and contemporaneous publications with such clarity and depth that it is hard to believe it took palce 200 years ago before the 24 hour news cycle.A wonderful read for anyone interested in women's rights, family law and religion. I recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    If I have a complaint about The Great Divorce, it's that Woo often tells us what Eunice is feeling and thinking without providing citations. In the endnotes, Woo says that "Details about the weather and descriptions of Eunice’s thoughts and moods all originate in period sources. In particular, my discussion of Eunice’s feelings is rooted in her books." But for me that was too little too late. I am wary of projecting our twenty-first century brains onto what a nineteenth-century woman may have been thinking; our worldviews are just so different.

    Other than that, though, The Great Divorce really is a very good book, as well as a compelling read. (I couldn't put it down in the last half, despite the fact that Woo had already told me what was going to happen hundreds pages earlier. And despite the fact that everyone involved was long-dead.) My preference would have been for a little more analysis and a little more intellectual history. But it is certainly a compelling read, and left me thinking about the women's history on both sides of the legal battle.