Chastity Warrants for Women Public Speakers in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction

  title={Chastity Warrants for Women Public Speakers in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction},
  author={Patricia Bizzell},
  journal={Rhetoric Society Quarterly},
  pages={385 - 401}
  • P. Bizzell
  • Published 27 August 2010
  • History, Art
  • Rhetoric Society Quarterly
Accusations of sexual impropriety have been used against women public speakers at least since the Renaissance, and nineteenth-century America was no exception. In constructing public personae that worked with prevailing gender ideologies, women tried to preserve the appearance of sexual purity. This concern for chastity carried over into fictional representations of women public speakers. While some authors depicted such figures negatively, the three examined here—Elizabeth Stuart Phelps… 
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