Chapter

“BELOVED OF SO MANY”: THE MANY FACES OF A WOMAN IN PUBLIC

J. Matthew Gallman

in America's Joan of Arc

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195161458
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788798 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161458.003.0004
 “BELOVED OF SO MANY”: THE MANY FACES OF A WOMAN IN PUBLIC

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Perhaps more than any woman of her day, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson came of age in the public eye. Between her first public appearance at age seventeen and her tribute to Abraham Lincoln after the president was assassinated, a few months before her twenty-third birthday, she had been on the road as much as she had been at home. In those five crucial years Dickinson's life and the nation's history had become intertwined, as each was shaped and redefined in the midst of the Civil War. For the young orator these were years when she learned to present different faces to different audiences while complete strangers and intimate friends constructed their own versions of her true identity. She was a figure who engendered profound emotions, even love, in almost complete strangers, while also earning the quasi-official sobriquet “America's Joan of Arc” for her public role. By the middle of the Civil War Dickinson had established herself as a highly successful professional orator and a political voice to be reckoned with.

Keywords: Anna Elizabeth Dickinson; American Civil War; United States; public speaking

Chapter.  7667 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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