Fanny Fern: Selected Writings
  • Publication Date: July 21, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816385 / 1554816386
  • 90 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Fanny Fern: Selected Writings

  • Publication Date: July 21, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816385 / 1554816386
  • 90 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Banner reading Teaching the survey? Learn more about The Broadview Anthology of American Literature, with covers of the available volumes

Fanny Fern dominated the New York literary scene in the 1850s, garnering both esteem and, occasionally, derision for her witty and acerbic newspaper columns and literary criticism; her semi-autobiographical novel Ruth Hall, which traces the rise of an intelligent and determined young woman from poverty to prestige through her pursuit of a writing career, was one of America’s most significant early bestsellers. Fern’s use of informal, vibrantly conversational prose and her abundant colloquialisms marked an important shift in the established literary conventions of nineteenth-century fiction and journalism. This compact edition collects some of Fern’s most frequently taught journalism—much of which focuses on the changing roles of women in nineteenth-century America—along with excerpts from Ruth Hall.

This volume is one of a number of editions that have been drawn from the pages of the acclaimed Broadview Anthology of American Literature. The series is designed to make selections from the anthology available in a format convenient for use in a wide variety of contexts; each edition features an introduction and exaplanatory footnotes, and is designed to meet the needs of today’s students.


Comments on The Broadview Anthology of American Literature

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The Broadview Anthology of American Literature is, quite simply, a breakthrough. … Meticulously researched and expertly assembled, this anthology should be the new gold standard for scholars and teachers alike.” — Michael D’Alessandro, Duke University

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Fanny Fern: Selected Writings

  • Hints to Young Wives
  • Thanksgiving Story
  • A Practical Bluestocking
  • Soliloquy of a Housemaid
  • Critics
  • Mrs. Adolphus Smith Sporting the “Blue Stocking”
  • from Ruth Hall: A Domestic Tale of the Present Time
  • from Fern’s New York Ledger review of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
  • Male Criticism on Ladies’ Books
  • A Law More Nice than Just
  • Independence
  • The Working-Girls of New York

In Context

  • Contemporary Reviews of Fanny Fern’s Work
  • Fern Leaves and Leaves of Grass