The Power of Her Sympathy
The Autobiography and Journal of Catherine Maria Sedgwick
Sedgwick (1789-1867), one of America's earliest woman authors, wrote six novels and nearly 100 stories, many of which directly challenged the social and political mores of the new nation (e.g., Clarence ; The Linwoods ). Raised in a close-knit, politically active Massachusetts family (her father was a senator), Sedgwick never married. She spent much of her life defending that decision (as in Married or Single? ), claiming that ``a wedding was rather a sundering than a forming of ties.'' Her autobiography (written for her niece Alice) and journals show that she grappled with many ``modern'' problems, such as her place in society. (Sedgwick's life has also been chronicled in G. Brooks's Three Wise Virgins, LJ 10/15/57.) Editor Kelly's introduction provides important background information and fills in narrative gaps. Highly recommended.