The Plantation Mistress

The Plantation Mistress Cover

The Plantation Mistress

By Catherine Clinton

Pantheon Books, Paperback, 9780394722535, 352pp.

Publication Date: February 12, 1984

Description
This pioneering study of the much-mythologized Southern belle offers the first serious look at the lives of white women and their harsh and restricted place in the slave society before the Civil War. Drawing on the diaries, letters, and memoirs of hundreds of planter wives and daughters, Clinton sets before us in vivid detail the daily life of the plantation mistress and her ambiguous intermediary position in the hierarchy between slave and master.
"The Plantation Mistress challenges and reinterprets a host of issues related to the Old South. The result is a book that forces us to rethink some of our basic assumptions about two peculiar institutions -- the slave plantation and the nineteenth-century family. It approaches a familiar subject from a new angle, and as a result, permanently alters our understanding of the Old South and women's place in it.


About the Author
CATHERINE CLINTON was born in Seattle and grew up in Kansas City.She is the Denman Professor of American History at the University of Texas San Antonio and is an International Research Professor at Queen's University Belfast. She has served on several faculties in her more than thirty years of teaching, including the University of Benghazi, Harvard University, and the Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina). She is the author and editor of over two dozen volumes, includingThe Plantation Mistress, Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, Mrs. Lincoln: A Life, and edits her own series for Oxford University Press: Viewpoints on American Culture. She has served as a consultant on several film projects, including Steven Spielberg'sLincoln(2012). An elected member of the Society of American Historians, she remains a lifetime member of both the Lincoln Forum and the Southern Association for Women Historians. She is serving as the president of the Southern Historical Association (2015-2016)."


Praise For The Plantation Mistress

"The Plantation Mistress challenges and reinterprets a host of issues related to the Old South. The result is a book that forces us to rethink some of our basic assumptions about two peculiar institutions -- the slave plantation and the nineteenth-century family. It approaches a familiar subject from a new angle, and as a result, permanently alters our understanding of the Old South and women's place in it."

Eric Foner, History Book Club Review

"Clinton has assembled many interesting quotations from old letters and diaries to support her belief that women in the antebellum South were generally overworked, often unhealthy, and little freer than their slaves."

Atlantic Monthly

"One can be grateful that the recent emphasis on the study of women's history has encouraged this much-needed work."

Christian Science Monitor