Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

By Denise D. Knight | Go to book overview
Save to active project

would rather suffer the consequences of a sin she had not committed than to ease his unreasonable jealousy. She makes this confession on her deathbed, surrounded by the chaos that Hentz indicates is inflicted by undisciplined and ill-trained slaves.

It would seem that in the interest of supporting the Southern institution of slavery, Hentz was willing to recreate the wild heroine of other stories into a crazed ex-wife whose refusal to give up that freedom once wed has disastrous consequences for her soul.

Though Mrs. Elmwood says in Lovell's Folly that the Sutherlands are "no more responsible" for slavery than someone who "lives near, or in the vicinity of, a volcano," by the end of Bride, Hentz's narrator is warning the North not to interfere lest that volcano should erupt:

We love the North. . . . But, should the burning lava of anarchy and servile war roll over the plains of the South, and bury, under its fiery waves, its social and domestic institutions, it will not suffer alone. (579)


Contemporary critics of Hentz's work were generally encouraging. Though some were wary about her use of sentimentalism, many felt that she balanced "spontaneousness and freedom" with "refinement, delicacy, and poetic imagery" ( Baym127). The Planter's Northern Bride, one contemporary reviewer asserted, maintained the "wisdom of loving the whole country," a view most felt was missing in Stowe's work (quoted in Schillingsburg149). Although some critics felt that the South was portrayed unrealistically, in that Hentz had taken up none of its faults to balance its advantages, most were relieved to have a well-known writer responding to Stowe's overwhelmingly successful novel.

Most recent criticism has focused on Hentz's feminist heroines, her support of slavery, or more generally, her place in the tradition of sentimental novels. Critics by turns find her subversive and conventional, rebellious and complacent.


Works by Caroline Lee Whiting Hentz

Lovell's Folly. Cincinnati: Hubbard and Edmands, 1833.

De Lara: or, The Moorish Bride. Tuscaloosa, AL: Wodruff & Olcott, 1843.

Aunt Patty's Scrap Bag. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1846.

The Mob Cap; and Other Tales. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1848.

Linda; or, The Young Pilot of Belle Creole. Philadelphia: A. Hart, 1850.

Eoline; or, Magnolia Vale. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1852.

Marcus Warland; or, The Long Moss Spring, a Tale of the South. Philadelphia: A. Hart, 1852.

The Planter's Northern Bride. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Parry & McMillian, 1854.


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
Cite this page

Cited page

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
Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents



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
/ 540

matching results for page

Cited passage

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?