Well-Tempered Women: Nineteenth-Century Temperance Rhetoric

By Carol Mattingly | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7
"Wine Drinkers and Heartless Profligates": Water Drops from Popular Novelists

Among women, excluded as they are from all participation
in the conviviality which leads astray so many of the stronger
sex, a clearer and more rational view early prevailed. They
experienced not the tempting pleasure, but they observed the
next day's depression or irritability, and they counted the cost!

-- Caroline Kirkland, "Agnes: A Story of Revolutionary Times"

TEMPERANCE WAS THE woman's issue of the nineteenth century. Temperance novels and stories proliferated, apparent in titles that announced their subject matter, such as "The Drunkard's Daughter" or "The Intemperate Reclaimed," or because they were published by temperance publication houses. But anxieties about alcohol's use and abuse, and consensus about its detrimental ramifications for women, were so pervasive that scarcely a popular nineteenth-century woman's novel exists that does not make reference to intemperance, attesting to its inherent dangers. Not only did references to problems associated with alcohol surface in the writings of the century's most popular novels, many popular writers wrote explicitly temperance fiction. Such fiction writing was probably comfortable for them. As Mary Kelly suggests, many of these women "could enter the man's world [of writing] because they had not left behind woman's work" (287). By writing temperance fiction, they both contributed to the notion of temperance as rightfully a woman's issue and maintained their own association with woman's work.

While such writing among popular authors was often less "radical" than that written by women who wrote primarily temperance fiction,

-143-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Well-Tempered Women: Nineteenth-Century Temperance Rhetoric
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 220

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?