American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 by Melissa J. Homestead PDF

By Melissa J. Homestead

ISBN-10: 051134533X

ISBN-13: 9780511345333

ISBN-10: 0521853826

ISBN-13: 9780521853828

Via an exploration of girls authors'engagements with copyright and married ladies estate legislation, American ladies authors and Literary estate, 1822-1869, revises nineteenth-century American literary background, making women's authorship and copyright legislations valuable. utilizing case reviews of 5 well known fiction writers Catharine Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, Augusta Evans, and Mary Virginia Terhunee, dwelling house exhibits how the convergence of copyright and coverture either fostered and limited white women's organisation as authors. girls authors exploited their prestige as nonproprietary matters to virtue by means of adapting themselves to a copyright legislation that privileged readers entry to literature over authors estate rights. Homesteads' inclusion of the Confederacy during this paintings sheds mild at the centrality of copyright to nineteenth-century American nationalisms and at the strikingly assorted development of author-reader relatives less than U.S. and accomplice copyright legislation.

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Chapter 5, “A ‘Rank Rebel’ Lady and Her Literary Property: Augusta Jane Evans and Copyright, the Civil War and After, 1861–1868,” serves as a companion piece to my chapter on Catharine Sedgwick and the antebellum international copyright debates. In it, I reconstruct Augusta Jane Evans’s behind-the-scenes lobbying for passage of a copyright law in the Confederate States of America, including provisions for international copyright, exploring how by so doing, Evans sought to promote both a new Confederate literary nationalism and her own interests as a proprietary author.

Although the answer to these questions is a qualified no, it is precisely dispossession rather than secure possession that characterized authorship in nineteenth-century America. American authors were not “lords” in secure possession of property and able to sue to protect proprietary interests. They were, in the absence of international copyright, unlordly lords with no right to recover damages when others ploughed with their heifers outside the national boundaries of the United States. In the extreme case of Phemie 2 Mary Virginia Terhune, Phemie’s Temptation (New York: Carleton, 1869), 234.

The 1831 domestic copyright act, which extended the right to renew copyright registrations to an author’s heirs, more explicitly wrote the masculine gendered author into the law in two ways. First, throughout the act, the masculine pronoun “he” appears with “the person entitled to protection by this act” as its referent (and, indeed, Congress consistently used the masculine pronoun in this way for the remainder of the century). 17 The committee assumes that the death of a wife will not disturb a husband and father’s economic status, but that a woman who loses her 14 James Kent, Commentaries on American Law, 1st ed.

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American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 by Melissa J. Homestead


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