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Julia Ward Howe, celebrated in her own day, remains known as the author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and as an early proponent of Mother's Day. Ziegler's biography contrasts Howe's public image with the private struggle she endured as an ambitious woman trapped in a confining and desperately unhappy marriage. The sheltered daughter of a wealthy New York family, Julia Ward married the dashing Samuel Gridley Howe in 1843, when she was twenty-three. By all accounts it was a romantic match, but what looked to be a fairy-tale marriage turned out to be a nightmare. Although Julia was a published author at the time of their marriage, her husband expected her to give up her writing and devote herself entirely to family life. He wanted her to have children, and she wanted to be famous, to continue to write and publish. Howe's children published books celebrating the family's life, but private papers record the discrepancies between the ideal public picture and reality. Howe's quest for autonomy and respectability was blocked by Victorian America, and Ziegler's account of Howe's life and struggles makes for a remarkable read. Valarie H. Ziegler is Professor of Religious Studies at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
Buy Diva Julia: The Public Romance and Private Agony of Julia Ward Howe by Valarie H. Ziegler from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781563384189 & 1563384183
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