The “Red Harlot of Infidelity”: The life and works of Frances Wright

McLeod, Susan Snowden
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Frances Wright D'Arusmont carved a path of liberal thought through the time-hardened road of prejudices, class systems, and unjust legal holds on women in the first part of the nineteenth century. Throughout history, trail blazers such as Wright led not only their contemporaries, but also the next generation; giving them what they, themselves lacked—a role model to whom they could look for guidance and comfort in their times of peril as they fought against the norms of society to affect change.

Wright envisioned herself among important social reformers—past, present, and future and predicted the eventual triumph of the causes for which she fought. She dreamed of the “wiser and happier generations to come, who shall write my name and preserve my memory among those of the champions of human liberty and heralds of human improvement.” Society did not allow for this to happen. A year after Wright's departure from America, her name was all but forgotten except by those who still rejected the causes she represented and those few who had found inspiration in her words such as Wait Whitman. The hostility Wright faced during her lifetime continued after her death. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Women's studies, American literature