Blood & Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937


"In fiction, diaries, biographies, personal papers, educational texts, historical writings, and through the work of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, southern white women sought to tell and preserve what they considered to be the truth about the war. In doing so, they shaped the myth of the Lost Cause and tried to restore dignity and valor to the public image of the South. Women worked both independently and in concert, and Gardner reveals a strong community of Confederate women who were conscious of their shared effort to define a new and compelling vision of the southern war experience." "Gardner's reading of a wide range of published and unpublished texts recovers a multifaceted vision of the South. For example, during the war, while its outcome was not yet a foregone conclusion, women's writings sometimes reflected loyalty and optimism; at other times, they revealed doubts and a wavering resolve. According to Gardner, it was only in the aftermath of defeat that a more unified vision of the southern cause emerged. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, white women - who remained deeply loyal to their southern roots - were raising fundamental questions about the meaning of southern womanhood in the modern era." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved