The Confederate Belle

The Confederate Belle

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qWhile historians have examined the struggles and challenges that confronted the Southern plantation mistress during the American Civil War, until now no one has considered the ways in which the conflict shaped the lives of elite young women, otherwise known as belles. In The Confederate Belle, Giselle Roberts uses diaries, letters, and memoirs to uncover the unique wartime experiences of young ladies in Mississippi and Louisiana. In the plantation culture of the antebellum South, belles enhanced their family's status through their appearance and accomplishments and, later, by marrying well.q qDuring the American Civil War, a new patriotic womanhood superseded the antebellum feminine ideal. It demanded that Confederate women sacrifice everything for their beloved cause, including their men, homes, fine dresses, and social occasions, to ensure the establishment of a new nation and the preservation of elite ideas about race, class, and gender. As menfolk answered the call to arms, southern matrons had to redefine their roles as mistresses and wives. Southern belles faced a different, yet equally daunting task. After being prepared for a delightful qbellehood, q young ladies were forced to reassess their traditional rite of passage into womanhood, to compromise their understanding of femininity at a pivotal time in their lives. They found themselves caught between antebellum traditions of honor and of gentility, a binary patriotic feminine ideal and wartime reality.q--BOOK JACKET. Book jacket.... God who had so often cared for us.a€ A young Annie Jacobs returned to Doro plantation to discover that her family was also destitute. All that remained were a€œa few old mahogany or rosewood beds and wardrobes too heavy to move awayanbsp;...


Title:The Confederate Belle
Author: Giselle Roberts
Publisher:University of Missouri Press - 2003-12-01
ISBN-13:

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