A critique of catherine clintons book the plantation mistress

She even goes as far as to make the assumption that wives of small farmers had an easier life because they had fewer slaves to manage. She does succeed in exposing the romanticized character of the unfaithful white mistress by showing that promiscuity was simply not part of the accepted code of the Southern woman.

Their daily lives consisted of rugged housework and managing the slave population. In fact, most of the time she was also by produce or foodstuffs, beyond the crops, supplementing HIS debts.

Women encouraged their daughters to exercise and pay close attention to staying healthy. Often a great deal of the time, the most feminine as it was defined in that era approach was the one that worked best.

And felt themselves as just a little different. When visiting antebellum plantations in Louisiana last winter, we went to about 7. Men were held somewhat responsible for these acts if they had seduced a young girl placed under their care, but more frequently, women were blamed and abandoned by their families and society, particularly if an illegitimate birth occurred.


Fortunately, she does move on to present a more complete image of the plantation mistress and offers a more fair assessment of the South in general. They very few purposely remained unmarried and did so because of the work and position they had observed were put upon any woman as a "wife" role.

Numerous offspring were needed, as well as numerous slaves, to sustain the planter economy. Chapter headings range from topics like the closeness of kin, loneliness, marital relationships, and the moral issues of slavery to the sexual dynamics of slavery, in which the plantation master was lord over all.

But she does equate certain assumed outcomes and trends because of the depth of the proofs. And after just a couple of years managing most herself- she did not want to do the same.

Some of them felt that the slaves got clothes before they did? In this area she goes overboard. Men were also concerned with the well being of their daughters as seen in a letter from one planter to his teenage daughter, begging her not to fall into the fashion trap of binding herself into a corset as it would be detrimental to her health.

The Negroes, in contrast, shared a common background going back to roots in Africa, their daily work, and a local subculture with fellow slaves. Sexual indiscretions were not uncommon in Southern society.

The Plantation Mistress

So many dichotomies of her role and being the communicator in the conflicts between these factors inherent in the slave system and her own immense dependency by law combined, IMHO, to give her a skill for understated and yet immense influence by her well placed input at diplomatic intervals.

Pantheon Books,Pp. But he could almost surely if it became common knowledge or his wife admitted that a child she bore was not his. The issue of sexual scandal is addressed. This control was primed by habit of having to use words wisely.

In fact, the plantation mistress was caught between her responsibilities to white society and the slaves. Catherine Clinton is thorough and introduces her methods and numbers of cases and the years she has centered for examination.

She also argues that the mistress was not responsible for her own actions and this is an argument that one cannot take as valid. Clinton begins her argument by describing women as economic commodities, shipped from their homes in the Old World and married off against their will.

Some of these women Clinton writes about were spinsters, despite the title. She presents a completely one-sided image of Southern women, and in turn, Southern men, and completely disregards any historical evidence that might show another side of Southern society and the lives of its women.

IMHO, that had to require some acting skills. Ample quotations from the women themselves give first-person voices to the text. Isolation was one of the greatest hardships of plantation life, along with continual childbearing, considered the most important role of a post-Revolutionary wife.

February 11, By Sonia W. She married into the city eventually and purposely toward a life lived mostly in France.To combat both the ""New Englandization"" of women's history and the popular sexualization of the Southern woman, Professor Clinton (History and Women's Studies, Union College) searched archival documents in seven Southern states for particulars on the plantation mistress.

LibraryThing Review User Review - susan3 Catherine Clinton Limited preview - The Plantation Mistress Catherine Clinton Limited preview - The Plantation Mistress: Woman's World in the Old South Catherine Clinton Snippet view - Catherine Clinton: Publisher: Pantheon Books, Original from: the University of Michigan 3/5(1).

Myths of Southern women seen; The Plantation Mistress: Woman's World in the Old South, by Catherine Clinton. New York: Pantheon Books. pp. $ "The Plantation Mistress challenges and reinterprets a host of issues related to the Old South.

The result is a book that forces us to rethink some of our basic assumptions about two peculiar institutions—the slave plantation and the nineteenth-century family/5(39).

The Plantation Mistress by Professor Catherine Clinton starting at $ The Plantation Mistress has 1 available editions to buy at Alibris5/5(1). "The Plantation Mistress challenges and reinterprets a host of issues related to the Old South. The result is a book that forces us to rethink some of our basic assumptions about two peculiar institutions -- the slave plantation and the nineteenth-century family.3/5(1).

A critique of catherine clintons book the plantation mistress
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