O my America! : second acts in a New World / Sara Wheeler.

Wheeler, Sara [Browse]
London : Jonathan Cape, 2013.
xi, 267 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


Summary note
After reckoning with the ends of the earth in acclaimed books such as "Terra Incognita" and "The Magnetic North", Sara Wheeler rediscovered America thirty-five years after her first Greyhound trip across the country. She returns in turbulent midlife to trace the steps of six women who fled various sorts of trouble in nineteenth-century England and went to the United States to reinvent themselves. Her travel companions include Fanny Trollope, mother of Anthony and author of the biting "Domestic Manners of the Americans"; the actress Fanny Kemble, who shocked the nation with her passionate first-hand indictment of slavery; the prolifically pamphleteering economist Harriet Martineau; the homesteader Rebecca Burlend, who had never been more than twelve miles from her Yorkshire village before she sailed to the New World; the traveller Isabella Bird, whose many ailments remained in check as long as she was scaling the Rockies; and the novelist Catherine Hubback, niece of Jane Austen, who deposited her husband in a madhouse and rode the brand-new rails to San Francisco. Tough-minded outsiders, these women's truest qualities emerged in a country as incomplete and tentative as their native land was staid and settled. And they discovered second acts for themselves at a time when the world expected them to disappear politely.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Merely telling the truth : Fanny Trollope goes to Ohio
  • Brave new world : Fanny Kemble goes to Georgia
  • A great embryo poet : Harriet Martineau goes to Massachusetts and Kentucky
  • Is this America? : Rebecca Burlend goes to Illinois
  • Above love and hate : Isabella Bird goes to Colorado
  • No there there : Catherine Hubback goes to California.
  • 9780224090704 (hbk.)
  • 0224090704 (hbk.)
  • 9781409029441 (ebook)
  • 1409029441 (ebook)
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