Fredrika Bremer and the Writing of America

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

Abstract

Hemmen i den nya verlden(1853-4) is novelist Fredrika Bremer's 3-volume travel diary in letter form, a literary account of her two years' travel in the United States and Cuba. Bremer wove, into the America she "wrote," a number of American authors and their works.

Novelist Catharine Sedgwick and poet and socialite Anne C. Lynch exemplified for Bremer the right use of women's moral influence. Critic and journalist Margaret Fuller, however, went too far in her demands and claims. The "ladies" were those, Bremer held, who could elevate American society to its ideal position, through their activities in the home.

James Russell Lowell was Bremer's ideal of the American poet; she admired his early sentimental works more than his satires. Bremer's translation of some of Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays occupies a large section of her text. Despite their ideological differences, Emerson attracted Bremer, who saw him as an uniquely, if not typically, American man. Most important to Bremer, personally and philosophically if not literarily, was landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing.

Bremer's treatment of slaves and slavery reflects her effort to find a middle ground between the northern abolitionists and the southern slaveowners. She met and admired editor and orator Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, but does not allow his views seriously to affect her own. The same is true of Lydia Maria Child and her anti-slavery writings. Uncle Tom's Cabin Bremer saw as a complement to her own description of slavery, but she differed with Harriet Beecher Stowe on the best method of emancipation.

Details

Authors
  • Laurel Ann Lofsvold
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature

Keywords

  • General and comparative literature, women, slavery, homes, America, Catharine M. Sedgwick, Anne C. Lynch, James Russell Lowell, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, A. J. Downing, Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fredrika Bremer, literature criticism, literary theory, Allmän och jämförande litteratur, litteraturkritik, litteraturteori
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Oct 16
Publisher
  • Lund University Press
Print ISBNs91-7966-578-0
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1999-10-16 Time: 10:15 Place: Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Burman, Carina Title: FD Affiliation: Uppsala ---