Strategic Scrapbooks

Ellen Gruber Garvey

in Writing with Scissors

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390346
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979240 | DOI:
Strategic Scrapbooks

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This chapter shows that scrapbooks kept by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Dunbar Nelson, and less-well-known suffragists such as Lillie Devereux Blake, Caroline Healey Dall, and Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, constitute a complex conversation about women's participation in the public realm. Scrapbooks both documented that participation and experimented with ways to present it to varied audiences; they were a training ground for impression management. Like other speakers, writers, and actors, women who wrote and spoke in public kept clipping books to document their talks and track their publications. Even the fact itself that suffragists looked to the press for personal history marks an extraordinary assertion of selfhood for women and a claim to act in the public arena. They passed along their understanding that the press was not a simple record, but a set of voices and conversations to be read critically.

Keywords: women activists; scrapbooking; suffragists; selfhood; press clippings

Chapter.  14404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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