Woolson: Collected stories edited by Anne Boyd Rioux

February 17, 2020
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Woolson: Collected stories.

Editor: Anne Boyd Rioux

Library of America

In her lifetime Constance Fenimore Woolson achieved a remarkable degree of commercial success as well as literary acclaim, an achievement almost unheard of for a woman author of the Victorian era. Her work drew favorable comparisons with other great women writers of the age, yet it possessed a unique perspective on the people, places and situations Woolson encountered in her travels.

. . . an excellent resource for both the student and everyday reader.

Woolson’s early work derived from her own experiences growing up in the Great Lakes region. Peter the Parson and Jeanette are great character sketches, the former evocative of the rough, often brutal life on America’s fringes. Later works were colored by her travels in the Reconstruction South. Rodman the Keeper is a brilliant vignette of the relations between the two sides following the Civil War. Following the death of her mother, Woolson expanded her travels to Europe, and her later work such as A Pink Villa reflect her experiences in this new continent. Not all of her work was about exotic locations. The Street of the Hyacinth and Miss Grief are evocative accounts of the difficulties in being taken seriously as a woman author in Victorian times.

In Woolson: Collected stories, editor Anne Boyd Rioux has performed a sterling job in the difficult task of collating a comprehensive sample of the author’s work. This Library of America volume is an excellent resource for both the student and everyday reader.

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This post was written by Cynthianna Matthews

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