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Belles of the ball for a few years, yes, but prisoners of the plantation system ever after. Solid, convincing material which expands both the regional aspect of women's history like Lillian Schlissel's Women's Dories of the Westward Journey and the study of Southern womanhood along with Mary Chesnut's recently republished diary and Carol Bleser's The Hammonds of Redcliffe. There was a problem adding your email address.

Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. By clicking on "Submit" you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Woman's World in the Old South By. Do you work in the book industry? Which of the following best describes you? While this is a scholarly work, it is far from dry and pedantic. The author employs excerpts from correspondence letter writing was practically de riguer during this time period but also plantation records to provide a look at the challenges faced by plantation mistresses.

Their lives were This book is a fascinating study about the prescriptive roles of women in the antebellum South. Their lives were far from the indolent, party-filled circuit we are given to expect from films like Gone With the Wind. If this subject matter is of interest to you, I highly recommend the book. Oct 26, Sarah Bierle rated it liked it Shelves: A fascinating study on women's role on Southern plantations.

Thorough in the examination of tasks, life challenges, and plantation morals, this books is an eye-opening study into the realities of plantation life during the antebellum period. Let's just say it's far from the ideal portrait from the "Gone With The Wind" mov A fascinating study on women's role on Southern plantations. Let's just say it's far from the ideal portrait from the "Gone With The Wind" movie Highly recommended for readers interested in early American history, background of the Civil War, and Southern women studies.

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View all 3 comments. Nov 23, Vanessa rated it really liked it. This was assigned for a class and it was really interesting. My copy is still bursting with post-it notes! Jun 17, Leah Cossette rated it liked it Shelves: An informed, if slightly dry, look at the lives of privileged women in the Old South. Clinton's focus is on the wealthy wives of plantation owners, but it is of course inevitable that some details of slave life should come into the spotlight as well. Although I liked this book a good deal, in the beginning I had some qualms. I thought the author's decision to label plantation mistresses 'slave of slaves' in chapter three was a little questionable.

Though she does prove that mistresses were work An informed, if slightly dry, look at the lives of privileged women in the Old South. Though she does prove that mistresses were working women and not the lily-white lazies of legend, that makes them more comparable with modern working women. Certainly they suffered none of the deprivations of actual slavery, since their work as wives and mistresses afforded them protection, family, and physical comforts, to name a few.

Instances like that made me suspect that Clinton may be something of a southern sympathizer, but later in the book things seemed more balanced. For example, in Chapter 9, Clinton says that "With no means to escape from their lonely plantation exile, southern women suffered from a lack of freedom that was, in a certain sense, analogous to that of slaves. And in the very next chapter Clinton seems to negate our sympathy for the plantation mistress, stating that, The earlier parts of the book focus mainly on the personal struggles of the plantation mistress, which gives the reader the feeling that Clinton is putting them back on the holy pedestal that southern women have occupied for the last years.

Yet the last several chapters undo all of that and acknowledge the struggles of others. No surprise, I enjoyed the last part most. All in all, well worth reading. Jul 25, Marilyn Lagier rated it liked it. I had picked this book up at a thrift shop; it sounded interesting.


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It is non-fiction, copyrighted Using historical documents the author explored the life of women in the south during the ante-bellum period, extending from about s to s. It was really quite interesting to read of the lives of women who lived and "ran" the household on plantations--for the most part their lives were very solitary, lonely. They could not travel without chaperones so rarely got into the nearest town or I had picked this book up at a thrift shop; it sounded interesting. They could not travel without chaperones so rarely got into the nearest town or city.

Their friends were few and far between; books were coveted items. Their lives revolved around taking care of the household, the slaves, their children, their husbands.

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The author explored the family dynamics, sex lives, attitudes toward slavery, their siblings, friends. It was a completely male-dominated society and women had no other role other than to cater to the lives of their men. Interestingly, and it caused me to review the copyright date, the author stated there was no conclusive evidence that Thomas Jefferson slept with Sally Hemmings, a slave. However, in the time since the book's publication, it has been proven that Jefferson did, indeed, have children by Sally Hemmings. May 28, Jessica rated it liked it. Since the publication of The Plantation Mistress in , scholars have turned their attention to the women of the Old South.

Contrary to popular imagination, the plantation mistress did not lead a life of leisure. In many ways her life was circumscribed as a direct result of the patriarchal slave society. Clinton is at her best when she discusses the varying ways planter society created and en Since the publication of The Plantation Mistress in , scholars have turned their attention to the women of the Old South.

Clinton is at her best when she discusses the varying ways planter society created and enforced gender roles for white men and women. Unfortunately Clinton often attempts to liken the plight of the plantation mistress to that of the enslaved people of the south. Indeed, white women were dominated by white men but they were also complicit in upholding the slave system. Fortunately scholars like Thavolia Glymph have greatly contributed to the field by making clear that plantation mistresses were no less inclined to violence than planters.

Jul 18, Shawnee Bowlin rated it really liked it. She was accurate and educating. Although, for me the book was boring because I had heard and read and been taught much of what she reported. I was not surprised at her reports, and feel the book was very well written and researched. For anyone wanting to get to know the history of southern women, I do recommend this book. May 16, Irina rated it it was amazing Shelves: We just recently returned from a trip to the South and some of the family names in "The Plantation Mistress" looked familiar - Grimke, Telfair.

Visiting the old mansions in Charleston and Savannah where the women mentioned in this book had once lived was very special.

Photos Of Slavery From The Past That Will Horrify You

What were their lives like? This is a very good and thorough study. Jan 17, Robyn rated it liked it. This is an eye opening book. Southern women have been portrayed by Hollywood of having an easy life. Not so according to this book. May 29, Marla rated it really liked it. I already like the writing style and have only just started. Feb 12, Pamela rated it really liked it Shelves: I normally do not read a lot of fiction,unless it is based on an era of history I am interested in.

I purchased this book after viewing an old plantation home in the south. I found it so far from the fiction, that books show, and movies describe, it was amazing. Gone was the world of Tara ,with the beautiful Scarlett, and her dances, and neighbors. Wives worked very hard, and had little enjoyment ,or even close neighbors. They held the full responsibi I normally do not read a lot of fiction,unless it is based on an era of history I am interested in. They held the full responsibility of those who worked the farm. She supplied the clothing, food,nursing,and helped her husband in all ways.

It was far from glamorous.

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She also provided as many children as her husband requested. This caused many young to middle age ladies to die way to young. Fevers were rampant, for many plantations were in marshes. The loss of life, including children happened way to often. The relationship between the wife and her most trusted slaves were born of a friendship of necessity. This was not taken for granted. This book opened my eyes.

The Plantation Mistress

I am sure there were very wealthy land owners as well,but these did not run their plantations,nor inhabit them for long periods of time. Then true plantation mistress was a farmer's wife on a grand scale of hard work, and a lonely life. Jun 15, Christie rated it really liked it. They were the unacknowledged managers of the southern agricultural economy.

Raising families and managing plantations yet not bein I look forward to rereading Catherine Clinton's book, "The Plantation Mistress.


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Raising families and managing plantations yet not being allowed to fully enjoy the fruits of their labors because they were raised to be little more then servants in a land of slavery. This is an era of women's history that should be studied so that young women of today will value the freedoms that our grandmothers worked for. Feb 11, Tanya rated it it was amazing.

I really enjoyed this book because the life of the southern women was told through letters that still exist from that time in history. I was especially intrigued by the ideas of slavery often being different from their plantation owning husbands. I also was very touched by their real fear of childbirth in those days and how they had very little support system and lived rather lonely, hard working, difficult lives. Didn't sound much like the " Gone With the Wind " southern belles we always hear abo I really enjoyed this book because the life of the southern women was told through letters that still exist from that time in history.

Didn't sound much like the " Gone With the Wind " southern belles we always hear about!! Oct 18, Rachel rated it liked it. This book was interesting and well written, but denigrated by other scholars for "reading second-wave feminism back onto the early nineteenth century" and playing fast and loose with the historical evidence. Oct 20, Kelsey rated it did not like it Shelves: This book was forced upon me in the wonderful world of college! It's a book full of historical facts on the women of the Plantation age, and it's dreadfully boring.

The only good thing I can say about this book is that it broadened my knowledge of how bad women had it in that day and age Which is the point I suppose. If you're the scholarly type then you will love this. I however, do not enjoy books like this. Dec 26, RsvpShindig rated it liked it.

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Really interesting to read some of the truths behind that romantic South we have in our minds. I enjoyed the section on the master of the plantation and the children that miraculously would appear that would be lighter skinned and noticeably similar to the master or his white children. Jan 05, Rita rated it it was amazing. Interesting book of the role of white women on plantations in the ante-bellum south. This book was written in , and is well researched. I think it gives a better understanding of what women's lives were like, and it was not all parties at Twelve Oaks.

I have read only a little about womens lives during that time. Aug 20, Mary Alice rated it liked it Shelves: