American Women‘s Travel Writing as Literature

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American Women‘s Travel Writing as Literature Margaret Fuller, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather
Klebes, Kate E
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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Master's ( M.A.)
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University of Florida
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Women's Studies
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Page, Judith W
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Babb, Florence E
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Gender roles ( jstor )
Men ( jstor )
Narratives ( jstor )
Polygamy ( jstor )
Travel ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Womens studies ( jstor )
Writers ( jstor )
Writing ( jstor )
Written narratives ( jstor )
Women's Studies -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
feminism -- gender -- innovation -- literature -- narratives -- travel -- women's
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born-digital ( sobekcm )
Women's Studies thesis, M.A.


In the years between 1820 and 1920 the United States experienced radical technological innovation that contributed to the restructuring of society and to the breakdown of some gender ideologies. One of the most significant areas of technological innovation was transportation, and the popularization of steamboats and steam palaces, locomotives, and automobiles made mobility cheaper and more accessible than ever before. As travel became more viable for women of all social classes and backgrounds, they embarked on travel domestic and international travel in unprecedented numbers. No Longer ?accidental tourists,? women were eager to broadcast their authoritative new role as travelers, and to record and in some cases publish their narratives of travel. This paper looks at the travel writing of Margaret Fuller, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather, three critically acclaimed and commercially successfully authors who achieved ?agency? as women and as feminists through their narratives of travel. My analysis will emphasize the inconsistency between the positive early reception of travel narratives written by Fuller, Cather, and Wharton, and their ensuing neglect, illuminating the entrenched gender ideologies that delegitimize women‘s travel writing. Through close readings of Fuller‘s Summer on the Lakes, Wharton‘s In Morocco, and Cather‘s Willa Cather in Europe, this paper deconstructs the way in which gender complicated the popularization, dissemination, and legacy of female travel narratives in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ( en )
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Page, Judith W.
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by Kate E Klebes.

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2 2012 Katharine Klebes


3 To my mom and dad, and my sister Danielle


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am grateful to Dr. Judith Page for her continued support, guidance, and encouragement Her assistance was invaluable. I also want to thank my friend and mentor, Liz Martin, who listened to my concerns on many occasions. I am also indebted to Dr. Florence Babb for her direction and insight.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 7 CHAPTER 1 INNOVATIONS IN TRANSPORATION, THE MOBILE FEMALE BODY, AND LUST FOR TRAVEL WRITING ................................ ................................ ............................ 9 2 HISTORICAL CONTEXT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 14 Technological Innovation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 15 Ideologies a nd Social Change ................................ ................................ ................................ 18 The Market Value of Traveling Women and the Market for Female Travel Narratives ........ 21 Traveling Women Writing and the Gender Divide ................................ ................................ 24 The Grand Tour ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 25 Travel Writing and Literature ................................ ................................ ................................ 26 ................................ .. 27 3 MARGARET FULLER: THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAVEL CLASSIC ......................... 29 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 29 ................................ ............................... 31 Summer on the Lakes ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 35 Critical and Popular Reception ................................ ................................ ............................... 39 Travel Writing ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 41 Format, Content, and Areas of Focus ................................ ................................ ..................... 43 I. The Unfitness of the Female Frontier Settlers ................................ ............................. 44 II. The Tragedy of Mariana ................................ ................................ ............................. 52 III. The Status of Indian Women ................................ ................................ ..................... 58 4 EDITH WHARTON: TELLING TALES FROM TRAVELS ABROAD AND DEMYSTIFYING THE MOROCCAN HAREM ................................ ................................ .. 66 Bi ography, Social and Class Location ................................ ................................ .................... 70 Publication History, Financial Success, Evolution of Career ................................ ................. 72 Success in the Literary Marke tplace as a Female Writer and Success of Travel Writing ...... 74 Historical, Professional, and Personal Context of Publication ................................ ............... 75 Wharto ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 77 In Morocco : Format, Content, and Area of Focus ................................ ................................ .. 80 I. The Crowd in the Street ................................ ................................ ............................... 81 II. Aid El Kebir ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 82 III. The Imperial Mirador ................................ ................................ ................................ 84 I V : In Old Rabat ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 89


6 V. In Fez ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 93 VI. In Marrakech ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 97 5 WILLA CATHER: THE FEMINIZED TRAMP ABROAD AND THE REVAMPED EUROPE AN TOUR ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 101 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 101 Biography ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 104 Journalistic Career ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 108 Travel Writing ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 110 Format, Mediation, Style and Tone ................................ ................................ ...................... 111 Nation and National Identity ................................ ................................ ......................... 114 Grand Tour ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 117 Class and the Common People ................................ ................................ ...................... 127 6 FULLER, CATHER, AND WHARTON: CONCLUSIONS ................................ ............... 137 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 141 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 144


7 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for th e Degree of Master of Arts American Cat her By KATHARINE KLEBES May 2012 Chair: Judith W. Page In the years between 182 0 and 1920 the United States experienced radical technological innovation that contributed to the restructuring of society and to the breakdown of som e gender ideologies. One of the most significant areas of technological innovation was transportation, and the popularization of steamboats and steam palaces, locomotives, and automobiles made mobility cheaper and more accessible than ever before. As trave l became more viable for women of all social classes and backgrounds, the y embarked on travel domestic and international travel their authoritative new role as travele rs, and to record and in some cases publish their narratives of travel. This paper looks at the travel writing of Margaret Fuller, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather, w omen and as feminists through their narratives of travel. My analysis will emphasize the inconsistency between the positive early reception of travel narratives written by Fuller, Cather, and Wharton, and their ensuing neglect, illuminating the entrenched gender ideologies that Summer on the Lakes In Morocco Willa Cather in Europe this paper deconstructs the way in


8 which gender complicated the popularization, d issemination, and legacy of femal e travel narratives in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


9 CHAPTER 1 INNOVATIONS IN TRANSPORATION, THE MOBILE FEMALE BODY, AND LUST FOR TRAVEL WRITING Between the early nineteenth century and the early twentieth century the United States experienced radical technological innovations and accompanying social change. One of the most significant areas of technological innovation was transportation, and the popularization of steamboats, trains, and automobiles made mo bility cheaper and more accessible than ever before. In her anthology of nineteenth century American women travel writers, Mary Suzanne Sc h riber describes the way in which technology conspired with challenges to ideology nineteenth century to set a record number of American women afloat on the high seas and 1 As it became easier for individuals from all social classes to travel, women began to travel for a variety of re asons and in 2 American society was consequently forced to reconsider the meaning of female mobility and to re think strict social norms that sough t to confine women to the domestic sphere. American women were confronted with conflicting ideologies. Capitalist entrepreneurs were profits from the ranks of th for those 3 But society was still hesitant to embrace the 1 Mary S. Schriber, Telling Travels: Selected Writings by Nineteenth Century American Women Abroad (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1995), x i v. 2 Ibid. xiii. 3 Ibid xiv.


10 constriction 4 indicating that their place was in the home and their role comprised bearing children and caring for their families. Ideologies emphasizing female e duty were nonetheless at odds with the reality of female mobility and the lives of many inde pendent and professional women, particul arly successful female writers. The increase in travel sparked an unparalleled interest in travel writing, and men and wo men from all social backgrounds recorded their travels in diaries, memoirs, and travel various narrative voices, literary styles, levels of speech, and kinds o f subjects, combining disparate modes of discourse without necessarily generating any tension among them or forging 5 Critically acclaimed authors were not immune to the appeal of es and collected works of the canonical figures in nineteenth century American literature will show that all but Whitman, Thoreau, and Dickinson 6 Professional writers as well as novice writers wrote and published t ravel writing en masse, but not all travel writing garnered attention and very little travel writing left a lasting mark on the canon of American literature. It is no coincidence that avel writing, still popular today. In Moving Lives 4 Ibid., xv. 5 William W. Stowe, American Literature 63.2 (Jun. 1991), 243. 6 William W. Stowe, Going Abroad : European Travel in Nineteenth Century American Culture (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1994), 4.


11 affirm their masculinity through purposes, activi ties, behaviors, dispositions, perspectives, and bodily movements displayed on the road, and through the narratives of travel that they return home to the sending culture. 7 though travel has gen erally been associated with men and mascu line prerogatives, even though it has func tioned as a domain of constitutive masculinity, women have always been and continue to 8 Women have achieved significant agency through their mobile bodies, but their narratives have historically been marginalized and devalued. So what does it mean for a woman to achieve agency as a traveler and in what circumstances is her narrative valuable and worthy in the eyes of her culture? This study looks at the trav el writing of Margaret Fuller, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather three critically acclaimed, women writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century who are regarded today as part of the American literary canon. Despite their impressive careers and th e foremost role that gender plays in their respective narratives of travel, popular and critic al audiences have responded to their travel writing in specific ways Furthermore, their travel writing has been categorized very differently from the works of th eir male contemporaries. This paper attempts to illustrat e the ways in which Fuller, Cather, and Wharton achieved gender comp licated the popularization, dissemina tion, and legacy of female travel narratives in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My analysis will emphasize the inconsistency between the positive early reception of travel narratives written by Fuller, Cather, and Wharton, and their ensu ing neglect. In comparing the travel writing of Fuller, Cather, and Wharton, I will 7 Sidonie Smith Moving Lives: Twentieth century Women's Travel Writing (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), ix. 8 Ibid. x.


12 9 I will also emp hasize the significance of privilege and the intersection between class and gender and nation and gender in For example, as a wealthy, famous, and well connected American, Wharton possesses more power than the women in the harem tha t she observes which raises questions both of class and Orientalism Cather, still unknown as a writer and traveling on a budget, writes under different circumstances. She is perhaps less threatening to those that she encounters than Wharton, and because her travel companion is a female and she is free from male supervision, she might feel less constrained by gender norms. Gender is one of several factors in determining power and influence. In Traveling Economies ling women invites us to and complex negotiations individual women entered into between gendered expectations and the lived reality of their participation in priva 10 ly resonant in thinking about professional female writers who traveled and wrote. Women like Willa Cather and Edith Wharton transgressed gender norms in a literal sense as mobile females who constantly ve ntured outside the domestic sphere, but they also challenged more subtle gender constraints by making their voices heard in the public sphere as professional writers. Chapter two illuminates the historical context in which American women began to travel a nd to write and publish a variety of travel narratives. It describes the technological innovations, particularly those related to transportation, which increased female mobility. The chapter also 9 Je nnifer B. Steadman Traveling Economies: American Women's Travel Writing (Columbus: Ohio S tate University Press, 2007), 7. 10 Ibid., 9.


13 analyzes the economic and social repercussions o f the boon i n female travelers, including the ust circulate to be 11 and illustrates the growing popularity of travel narratives of all types. I will distinguish between the types of women who w ere able to travel and write, the different types and purposes of travel writing, and the popularity and posterity of particular works. Ultimately, chapter two paints a holistic picture of the relationship between technological innovation, increased mobili ty among women, and the social and cultural implications of the traveling female writer. It also illuminates the ways in which historians, literary theorists, and scholars of gender studies have worked together to theorize the myriad ways in which travel f acilitates the transgression of gender norms. Chapters three examines the life of Margaret Fuller and includes a close reading of Summer on the Lakes West ern travels in t he summer of 1843. Chapter four is devoted to E dith Wharton, tracking her swift rise to literary fame and her lifelong relationship with travel and focusing specifically on the last travel narrative that she published in 1918, In Morocco Chapter five posits Willa Cather as a ground breaking novelist d arly career in journalism and a striking collection of travel articles published posthumously in 1956 as Willa Cather in Europe. ng in the nineteenth century reveals 12 Fuller, Wharton, and Cather were writing on the edge of culture and the edge of gender, pushing the limits of ideology with their mobile bodies and their brave voices. 11 Mary S. Schriber, Writing Home: American Women Abroad, 1830 1920 (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 19 97) 23. 12 Schriber, Writing Home, 7.


14 CHAPTER 2 HISTORICAL CONTEXT Traveling served to raise the stakes, as each town along the stagecoach route was confronted with the reality of a mobile independent woman and with the prospect ers, and wives climbing on board to join her. Jennifer Bernhardt Steadman, Traveling Economies 1 In the period between 1820 and 1920, a series of factors contributed to the increased economics, and the marketplace, together with conceptions of the history and mission of the United States, joined the discourses of femininity circulating in nineteenth century America to make travel possible, important, marketable, and pro 2 This short chapter is divided into several sections intended to illustrate the historical context in which American women took to the road in unprecedented numbers, no longer as f ollowers but as travelers. The sections will examine the following topics: technological innovations and economic prosperity; ideologies and social change; the market fo r female travel narratives; the role of gender in the travel narra tives of l writing. Each of these topics functions in relationship with the others and must be understood as a piece of a larger puzzle. New technologies might have made it economically viable and physically possible for women to travel, but shifts in social ideol ogy made it cultura lly acceptable, at least in many circumstances. These analys es are intended to be brief and each demands further scholarship. For example, there is much more to be said about the intersection s between modes of transport, gender, and clas s, as well as the idea that female travelers writing about their experiences abroad effectively re gendered the traditionally masculine European tour. 1 Epigraph Steadman, Traveling Economies 4. 2 Mary S. Schriber., Telling Travels xiv.


15 igning ideas of and conversations about women, some to revise the concept of Woman, some to confirm the status quo ante, and all of them to shape, influence, and complicate 3 Technological Innovation Despite the somewhat different time periods in which they lived, Margaret Fuller (1810 1850), Edith Wharton (1862 1937), and Willa Cather (1873 1946), all experienced the 4 that accompanied the industrial revolution and the new modalities of ti me and travel, both in America and abroad. Margaret Fuller is able to take a train out West which greatly reduces her travel time. Willa Cather travels by steamship across the Atlantic to embark on her European adventure, and one of her most significant a rticles from abroad addresses the differences between American steamboats and their English counterparts. Edith Wharton We must not underestimate the role of t he steam engine and the al and more comfortable machines of motion 5 nics of motion before the nineteenth century foot, horse, coach, sailing ship were relatively slow, elemental, and oft 6 making travel impractical, dangerous, and expensive. historians divide into four stages, occurred in the years between 1790 and 1840. The first two stages were marked by the popularity of the stagecoach and canal boats. The third stage saw the 3 Schriber, Writing Home 8. 4 A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton ed. Carol J. Singley ( Oxford, England : Oxford University Press, 2003), 149. 5 Smith, Moving Lives xi. 6 Ibid., 21.


16 introduction of the steam engine and the commercial growth of the steamboat. The transportation revolution culminated with the development of the railroad. 7 The introduction of the steam engine changed the course of history. The first steamboat, developed by Robert Fulton, was launched against the current on the Hudson Rive r in 18 08. By the 1830 s, commercial steamboats were traversing all the major and minor rivers in the United States. 8 With the introduction of steam powered ships in the 1820 s, foreign travel beca me cheaper, quicker, and safer, and consequently more accessible to t he middle and lower class. Nonetheless steam 9 b etween the 1840s and 1860 s. rom the ne w population of traveling women, particularly women with disposable income, and often did so by appealing to ideological constructions of feminine delicacy. Steam palaces were luxuriously and ceilings of stained glass in turquoise, amethyst, and topaz .furnished with silk upholstered chairs of richly carved solid 10 11 12 enabling women in a range of economic positions to travel. 7 Women at Large: Travel in Antebellum America History Today 44.12 (1994), 46. 8 Ibid., 46. 9 Sc h riber, Telling Travels xiv. 10 Ibid., xiv. 11 Ibid. xv. 12 Ibid. xv.


17 ury had an equally major 13 and greatly increasing the mobility of individuals hailing from all social classes. The railroads were praised for their convenience, reliability, and relat ive cheapness, and viewed as a symbol of American class Americans, especially women who took advantage of railway travel to less ignorant, less depende 14 15 where they could work to provide for themselves and in many cases their families. Nonetheless, the spread of railways across the United States did not come without significant of the railroad facilitated the exploitation of subject peoples and the radical disruptions of 16 In Summe r on the Lakes Fuller perceives the compl ex impact that technology has on the lives of the settlers and natives in the West On one hand, she regrets the incursion of technology and its destructive repercussions, but she is also attuned to the role of the railroad in facilitating her own travels and allowing her to gain proximity to the Indian tribes that she learns so much from. Finally, we must note the invention of the automobile at the close of the nineteenth century. Americans were disillusioned wit 17 all things that the automobile 13 Smith, Moving Lives 121. 14 Ibid. 127. 15 Ibid. 127. 16 Ibid., 122. 17 Ibid., 168.


18 offered. As the final touches were put on the internal combustion engine, inventors, manufacturers and consumers expressed a great deal of interest in this new individualized form of mobility. 18 even women were taking the wheel. As an interesting American landscape at the turn of the century. Of course, few women were as independently wealthy as Wharton and consequently few experienced automobile travel. It is easy t o overlook the implications of these innovative technologies of transport. The steamboat, the railroad, and the automobile served as means to mobility, but they also defined the terms and meaning of that mobility. These omnipresent symbols of modernity dem anded a 19 and resulted in dramatic and resounding shifts in cultural expectations and gender norms. Ideologies and Social Change The ideology of separate spheres, which confined women to the domestic sphere while men occu pied the public sphere of business, politics, etc., was still very much intact during the 20 and threatened to break down the gender divide. Women were becoming increasingly active in the suffrage movement and the abolition movement, as well as a variety of middle class women were already testing th e waters of public participation, frequently traveling 18 See Smith, Moving Lives 167 202 for a riveting discussion of the automobile, including the social implications of its populariza tion. 19 Smith, Moving Lives 21. 20 Schriber, Telling Tales xv.


19 both domestically and internationally to pursue their charitable projects. 21 The varied travels of publ ications, suggests the range of models of mobility and autonomy available to women to 22 interest in asserting her voic e, became a popular feminine id eal between the 1850s and 1890 s. threatened to change the borders of the mind even as those thrown up around the body were 23 Such women challenged feminine norms of appearance by wearing trousers, riding bicycles, smoking cigarette s and of course, traveling by automobile, train, and steamship. Women were also gaining entry into colleges and entering the workforce in professio nal 24 of the profession who were interested in traveling and writing. Many women outside of the industry hoped that their travel narratives would land them a job in journalism and newspaper writing, while those women inside the industry working as journalists, such as Willa Cather, took advantage of travel writing to experiment with mo re creative forms and possibly expand their reputation and careers. All of these factors contributed to an d worked in conjunction with the physical act of travelling to explicitly challenge the notion of separate spheres. As soon as women stepped out of t heir homes and boarded trains, steamships, and automobiles, they were transformed from 21 Smith, Moving Lives 17. 22 Steadman, Traveling Economies, 9. 23 Schriber Telling Travels xvi. 24 Schriber, Writing Home 6.


20 25 undermine notions of women as weaker, more delicate, and more vulnerable s ex, requiring male supervision. For example, conduct books encouraged female mobility, but provided a strict set of guidelines for behavior, dress, and interaction. Schriber reminds us that public response to women travelers was deeply conflicted, marked b 26 27 Travel was more or less accept ed as 28 Unlike their male counterparts, women had to constantly justify their travel. One of the most common arguments against women traveling invoked the trope of female sexual vulnerability, suggesting t hat the traveling women would likely encounter sexual risk and/or sexual temptation. Female travel writers heeded such 29 that they included and being careful to address the reader in a ladylike fashion. Many a 30 Furthermore, women travelers, a protect ive male friend or spouse. The nineteenth century was marked by an oscillation between ideological enlightenment and reversion to strict gender stereotypes, but one might argue that each step forward was accompanied by only half a step back. 25 Ibid. 13. 26 Ibid. 40. 27 Ibid. 40. 28 Ibid. 41. 29 Smith, Movi ng Lives 18. 30 Susan L. Roberson, The Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing ed. Alfred Bendixen et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 223.


21 The Market Va lue of Traveling Women and the Market for Female Travel Narratives 31 Travel provided women, traditionally confined to the private, domestic sphere 32 Women, of course, had been writing in the privacy of their homes for centuries. Travel writing, in its similarities to the 33 functioned as a n ideal form of writing for women just beginning to voice their opinions in the public sphere. As we have seen, the transportation revolution made both domestic and international travel possible for women as well as men. New technologies of mobility broke down the class, race, age, and gender boundaries that had previously barred independent travel for women and other marginalized groups. With the increase of traveling women came an inevitable increase in the number of women writing about their travels. Sch riber aptly captures the relationship between a passport to 34 Between the years 1800 and 1850, 325 books of travel were published, but between 1850 and 1900 that number jumped dramatically to 1440 35 According to Schriber, women published, in additi onal to articles in the periodical press, 27 books about foreign travel prior to the Civil War and 168 after the Civil War. 36 Women represented a significant portion of travel writers but certainly not the majority (190 out of over 1700). 31 Schriber, Telling Travels xxii. 32 Ibid. xxiii. 33 Ibid. xxiii. 34 Schriber, Writing Home 47. 35 Schriber, Telling Travels xxiv. 36 Schriber, Writing Home 52


22 Women from all so cial backgrounds recorded their travels and many successfully publish ed and market ed their narratives. But we must bear in mind what kinds of tracts publishing houses purchased, what types of women were writing them, and how these narratives were labeled. Much female travel writing, in the form of letters, diaries, and journa ls, was never published, although it was often circulated among friends and family members. Women who wrote travel narratives for newspapers and magazines rarely published full length b ooks. Those women who were able to publish their travel narratives and especially those who wrote books based on their travels, were mostly white middle and upper class women from the N ortheast with time and money. 37 Encouraged by new opportunities to trav el and excited by the market for travel writing, 38 Professional authors, such as Margaret Fuller and Edith Wharton wrote to broaden t heir careers and vocalize their political views. Others envisioned themselves as virtuous women with a moral mission to act as age nts of reform and enlightenment, righteousness, and 39 Others saw travel writing as an opportunity to gain entry into the profession of journal ism. Particularly audacious wome 40 eager to assert their opinions regarding pressing political issues, such as the Spanish American War. 37 See Schriber, Writing Home 2. Schriber confines her study to middle and upper class white women from the Northeast, mainly because these were the women who most often had the resources to publish their writing. 38 Schriber, Telling Travels xxiv xxv 39 Schriber, Writing Home 52. 40 Ibid, 55.


23 late nineteenth century and early twentieth century literary marketplace, but not be read as an indicat ion of their unb ridled success. Deborah Williams reminds us that as women writers created huge profits for editors, publishers, literary agents and themselves the literary marketplace, dominated by men, was at best ambivalent, if not hostile about the presence of wo 41 Deborah Williams argues that the male novelist Joseph Hergesheimer 42 when he voiced his concerns that women writers would silence men. Well known male authors, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, expressed their concer n that women were taking over the industry. Such concerns were largely unfounded, especially The publishing industry, like the nation as a whole, was undergoing dr amatic changes agreements were sealed with handshakes to a consumer driven professional industry in which 43 Female travel writers, as well as female writers in general, fared relatively well in this commercialized literary market, but their marketplace was often tr eated as suspect, as proof that their work appealed to the masses and was thus inferior and non literary. Of course, there existed a double standard in that popular male The Innocents Abroad Americans Ab road 41 Deborah L. Williams Not in Sisterhood: Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Zona Gale, and the Politics of Fema le Authorship (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 3. 42 Ibid., 4. 43 Williams, Not In Sisterhood 3.


24 44 Traveling Women Writing and the Gender Divide The Di ffering Relationship of men and women to the institutions of writing and to travels, the cultural work of their writing, and the angle from which women were attached to the genre and its conventions. Mary Suzanne Schriber, Writing Home 45 There is no doubt that women transformed the publishing industry in the nineteenth century, but this does not mean that publishing houses embraced all women with equal fervor or that female writers achieved parity with their male counterparts in the literary marketplace. Female writers hailed from a variety of class and educational backgrounds and wrote for an array of reasons. Many of the women writing travel narratives were literary amateu 46 While it is important to recognize the diversity of f emale travel writers in America during the nineteenth century, this paper focuses specifically on successful, professional female writers. Fuller, Wharton, and Cather were best known for their work as novelists outside of the travel genre, and were hailed as important literary artists. The travel genre provides a useful lens for have historically be en devalued in comparison to those written by men. In many cases, wome narratives were initially well received but quickly lost popularity, often disappearing completely after the death of the author. This trend holds even for extremely succ essful female writers. 44 Ibid., 2. 45 Schriber, Writing Home 6. 46 Schriber Telling Travels 3.


25 Summer on the Lakes was published to great critica l acclaim from the likes of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allen Poe, and others Few are familiar Walden also a Transcendentalist travel narrative published at around the same time, is regarded as an American classic. Likewise, just as Willa Cather in Europe Nebraska State Journal the Innocents Abroad began as a series of letters commissioned by the S an Francisco Alta California 47 Both authors were unknown as novelists during their first attempt at travel writing, and yet The Innocents Abroad has been assumed as Willa Cather in Euro pe has been brushed under the carpet. In examining the disparate treatment of male and female travel writers, it is relevant to invoke the tradition of the European tour or Grand tour. I frequently allude to this tradition, most often taken up by wealthy white men from western nations, in my close reading of Willa Cather in Europe Cather explicitly challenges the Grand tour by shifting her priorities as a traveler and writer off the beaten path. She acknowledges major monuments, buildings, places, etc., a nd then turns her attention to some other aspect of the environment, often the local inhabitants and the natural world. The Grand Tour The tradition of the European tour for Americans served as more than the culmination of a privileged male education. It was meant to serve as a transformative journey, a rite of passage for the white male about to embark on his life of prosperity and dominance. It is in keeping with ieve 47 William W. Stowe, Going Abroad 3.


26 notable distinction through self 48 William W. Stowe captures the essence of the European tour in Going Abroad in his chapter on travel as ritual. The essary step in a well planned 49 So what happens when women accumulate the resources to travel abroad without men and to employ the written word as proof of their agency? Susan Roberson suggests in her essay in the Cambridge Companion to American Tr avel Writing that the transportation revolution enabled women to participate in their own version of the Grand Tour. 50 Women such as Edith Wharton history and art, turnin 51 And yet, one must question how much authority female writers acquired writing in such a gendered space and publishing in a male dominated market. Travel Writing and Literature s begin by looking back at the history of male travel writing, a pastime that men have 52 53 women had to rationalize their travel increased opportunities to write did not dissolve the entrenched gender inequalities that separated lationship of men and women to the 48 Smith, Moving Lives ix. 49 Stowe, Going Abroad 25. 50 American Women and Travel Writing 51 Ibid., 221. 52 Smith, Moving Lives ix. 53 Schriber, Writing Home 70.


27 women wrote travels, the cultural work of writing, and the angle from which women were attached to the genre and its co 54 and value. The traditional masculine travel narrative written by American literary figures follows the template of the Grand tour, with writers structuring their narratives around visits to important people and places. In his recent study of Mark Twain and tourism, Jeffrey Melton reminds us availed 55 Stowe might add that most 56 were male. Some women, including Fuller, Wharton, and Cather, participated in the Europ ean tour, but their writing reflects the occasional discomfort they felt in negotiating the masculinized template of travel writing. We also witness the ways in which they challenge the g endered ideology of the genre. Progressive Possibilities and Constrai nts inevitably more progressive than male travel writing or to suggest that the writing of Fuller, Wharton, and Cather is unassailable in terms of its treatment of race, class, nation, culture, and gender. However, nineteenth century women writers were positioned in the margins of literary production, although class and racial differences among women influenced the way in which 57 58 of 54 Ibid. 6. 55 Jeffrey A. Melton Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism: The Tide of a Great Popular Movement (Tuscaloosa: Universi ty of Alabama Press, 2002), 16. 56 Stowe, Going Abroad 4. 57 Cheryl McEwan, Gender, Geography, and Empire: Victorian Women Travellers in West Africa (Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate, 2000), 9.


28 women and resulted in gendered knowledges that in many cases provide insight into multiple oppressions. American women travel writers of the nineteenth century were not immune to the r acist and imperialist structur es and hierarchies that influenced the travel writing of their male counterparts, as we see in the work of Wharton and arguably in the work of Cather. Just as Fuller, Wharton, and Cather challenge important gender, race, and c lass stereotypes, they also reify hierarchies, albeit in different ways and to different extents. For example, Fuller disrupts racial stereotypes in her interaction with Indian women in ways that Wharton is unable to replicate a s a French sponsored writer in M orocco. In the three chapters devoted to specific authors, I will attempt to place each writer in historical and social context, offering critiques where they are necessary but also emphasizing the rich gendered and literary content. The fourth chapte r, concerned with Edith Wharton, inevitably raises questions of colonialism and colonial discourse, which I will explore in more depth. Historically, women have not participated in colonial discourse to the same extent and in the same ways as men because o discourse, but their relation to the dominant discourse is problematic because of its conflict with the discourses of femininity, which were operating on them in equal, and sometimes stronger, 59 of colonial cultures and the discursive field of imperialism, and as instrumental to changing 60 58 McEwan, Gender, Geography, and Empire 9. 59 Sara Mills Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women's Travel Writing and Colonialism (London: Routledge, 1991), 63. 60 McEwan, Gender, Geography, and Empire 12.


29 CHAPTER 3 MARGARET FULLER: THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAVE L CLASSIC Introduction Margaret Fuller, born in 1810 in Cam bridgeport, Massachusetts, was a prominent social figure and a widely read critic and author during her lifetime, b ut her rich body of writing is virtually unknown in the critical world of the twentieth century. 1 Her best known work, Women in the Nineteenth Century was a highly controversial and influential social and political tract at the time of its publication. It was perhaps the most progressive feminis t text since Mary V indication of the Rights of Woma n (1792) Her travel writing was also critically acclaimed and read nationally. Fuller was considered one of the foremost thinkers and innovators among a group of prominent intellectuals d uring the mid nineteenth century that included Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Walter Whitman. Yet today known, least read critics and authors of 2 During Fuller ation, but her father, a distinguished Harvard College graduate a four term U.S. Congressman, and chairman of the House Committee on Naval Affairs, made sure that his daughter received an exem plary education. 3 He was determined to educate her at home f rom a very early age and he held Fuller 4 likely contributing to her remarkable work ethic and analytical capabilities. Full er was not only a precocious young child ; s he was also a critical thinker, 1 Zwarg Christina, Feminist Conversations: Fuller, Emerson, and the Play of Reading (Ithaca: Corn ell University Press, 1995), 1. 2 Zwarg Feminist Conversations 9. 3 Steele, introduction, xii. 4 Ibid. xii.


30 5 Edith Wharton and Willa Cather were also highly educated and exposed t o scholarly purs uits at an extremely young age, as I will explore in the subsequent chapters. career, emphasizing her experience as an well educated, well travel ed, and for the most part financially comfortable American female author. as a writer and mobility is importantly linked to her feminist ideals and goals. Travel writing provided Fuller with a less controver sial venue than fiction writing or journalism for asserting her controversial ideas In Summer on the Lakes Fuller positions herself as an observer of other cultures not as a critic of her own, effectively camouflaging her critique of gender roles in Wes t ern society and her approval of alternative cultural values understanding of American literary history and to the complex his tory of feminist criticism of 6 work, particularly her travel wri ting, both during her lifetime and among current literary critics. The majority of this chapter comprises a close reading of Summer on the Lakes a narra tive her career and marked a turning point that prefigured much of her later writing. In the introduction to the Essential Margaret Fuller Jeffrey Steele argues that by 18 where Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne leading writers treated her as a 5 Zwarg Feminist Conversations 7. 6 Ibid. 8.


31 7 that she held for Bos placed her at the center of an influential and important 8 making her writing of interest to a diverse and influential set of individuals. I frequently allude to the relationship between Fuller and the other female travel writers addressed in this study. While Fuller was not a contemporary of Wharton or Cather, as they were to each other, she faced similar obstacles as a independent and mobile woman eager to make her Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Horace Greeley, conversationalist, a scholar who believed in the infinite value of exchange and dialogue. Many of example, Thoreau wrote Wald en Pond a piece of travel writing that is secure in the canon of both American travel writing and American literature. Biographical Account Of And Career She wore this circle of friends, when I first knew her, as a necklace of diamonds about her neck. They were so much to each other that Margaret seemed to represent them all, and to know her was to acquire a place with them. The confidences given her were their best, and she held them to them. She was an active, inspiring companion and corres pondent, and all the art, the thought, the nobleness in New England seemed at that moment related to her and she to it. She was everywhere a welcome guest. Emerson Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli 9 In 1810, Timothy and Margaret Crane Fuller welcomed t heir first of seven children, Margaret Fuller, into the world 7 Steele, introduction, xxii. 8 Ibid., xxii. 9 M emoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1884), 213.


32 Timothy Fuller acquired an excellent education at Harvard College and distinguished himself as a lawyer and a member of the Massach usetts legislature. As mentioned earlier, the young Margaret Fuller received a rigorous and exacting education, begi nning her studies in English and Latin at the age of six. 10 By the age of nine, Fuller was reading Virgil, Cicero, Horace, Livy, and Tacitus, perfecting her Greek grammar, and honing her language skills in French and Italian. In an autobiographical sketch published when she was thirty, Fuller indicated that the classical texts influenc ed her more than anything else in her formal education. Ful frequently expected to act as a surrogate mother, tending to the needs of her siblings and keeping the household in order a role that she would play for much of her a dult life. Despite the his eldest daughter himself and the invaluable role that she played in her household, Timothy and Margarett Crane Fuller decided that their daughter should be m ade into a lady. Like ma ny young women of her age and social status, Groton, Massachusetts. women in the early republic, but it taught music, sewing, dancing, and drawing, as well as manner and morals, alongside history, geography, philosophy, mathematics, and the natural sciences. 11 12 and she was not impressed by the cur riculum at the school, which completely neglected Latin and Greek, two of her favorite areas of study. Fuller tells a story in Summer in the Lakes about an extremely intelligent, dramatic, and 10 Mary Kelley, introduction to The Portable Margaret Fuller (New York: Penguin Books, 1994), xi. 11 Kelley, introduction, xiii. 12 Ibid., xiii.


33 unconventional friend that she had during her school days. This young woman, Mariana, bears a suspicious resemblance to the adolescent Fuller herself during her time at the Young Ladies' Seminary. I will return to this perhaps autobiographical scene in my close reading of Summer on the Lakes Fuller returned from M childhood home for the next decade, engaging in a rigorous self education that increasingly reflected her own interest s as a scholar. 13 It was during this period that Fuller began to produce original creative work, engaging in criticism and writing poetry and fiction. She pub lished a series of articles, in which she demonstrated her extensive reading, and began to broadcast her ideas. In 1835, just as Fuller was beginning to build her reputati on as a critic and journalist she suffered a significant setback. Timothy Fuller died of cholera, leaving his family in a precarious Fuller was forced to can cel her plans to tra vel and study in Europe, and began to seek out paid positions to take care of her family. Over the next three years, she worked as a teacher at ol in Providence, Rhode Island. Fuller was determined to make her student s learning experience memorable and effective. teacher and student participated in a Socra 14 She encouraged conversation as a vital tool for learning, a technique that we see in her travel writing when she engages multiple voices 13 See Kelley, introduction, xiv, for a de read widely in Italian literature, including Petrarch, Dante, Berni, and Tasso. She also enjoyed Epictetus, Milton, Racine, and de Stael, and a variety of Enlightenment texts. 14 Kelley, introducti on, xv.


34 approach to teaching but 15 and she resigned in 1837. Fuller moved to Providence soon after and began working at the Green Street School. This period was marked by an increased interest in the status of women in the nineteenth century, an issue that Fuller brought into the classroom and encouraged her young female ventured out West in 1843. In 1844, upon return ing f rom her travels out West Fuller accepted a prestigious position as the Tribune critic. She became increasingly involved in social and political e of wrongs or evils led to their correct ion 16 neglect Mexico, Ar gentina, and China, among other nations onate writing and advocacy during this period was driven by her humanism, Transcendentalism, and feminism, all 17 lite rary critic in America, a successful editor, a teacher who pioneered new forms of educational 18 As I have emphasized at lengt h, Fuller had also produced a notable body of travel writing that is remarkable for its engaging style and rich content, as well as for the race, gender, and class conscious lens through which it is written. 15 Ibid. xv. 16 Margaret V. Allen, The Achievement of Margaret Fuller (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1979), 126. 17 Allen, Achievement of Margaret Fuller, 127. 18 Steele, introduction, xi.


35 Summer on the Lakes In her life, the demands of which she was a pioneer. Jeffrey Steele, The Essential Margaret Fuller 19 Summer on the Lakes express in a single context the disparate aspects of her consciousness: the appreciative and the 20 In keeping with the genre, Summer on the Lakes is an eclectic mix of prose, poetry, proverbs, and di 21 and her style is literary and often poetic. Her v oice is authoritative but her narrative reads as more of a conversation than a soliloquy. She incorporates myriad voices into the text, which pr events any one voice, including her own from becoming too powerful. incorpo facilitating their interaction omplicated understanding of relation to 22 t Summer on the Lakes Fuller gives voice to others. She achieves this by incorporating the voices of those around her through dialogue and 19 Ibid., xii. 20 250. 21 Ibid., 251 22 Ibid., 251.


36 description, but she also does so more subtly by prompting the reader to join in on the conversation. One is reminde d of the Socra tic teaching style that Fuller employed while working as a teacher in Boston and Providence as well as the conversational format of her Boston Conversations. Fuller never tells the reader what to think in Summer on the Lakes ; i nstead, she pro mpts the reader to think for herself by posing challenging questions and describing possible solutions. In Summer on the Lakes a of autobiography, history, critical reading and a gender and race based analysis of the promise and tragedy of West 23 While I am positing Summer on the Lakes as a piece of travel writing and not as an ethn that it captures the multi dimensional and multi functional nature of the text. In my own reading, I will rely upon and extend theories of polyvocality and hybridity, but I will also emp gh which she her strategies a range and subtlety that anticipate 24 For example, at one point in the text Fuller is eating dinner at a hotel with a ta ble of new faces when she abruptly digresses to tell the aforementioned 23 Fish, Cheryl J., Black and White Women's Travel Narratives: Antebellum Explorations (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004), 96. 24 Zwarg, Feminist Conversations 14.


37 the role of polyvocality and hybridity in the text, and serves as an excellent example of the way in whic h Fuller fuses the two to make a specific point, which I will examine at length. While Summer on the Lakes keeps with many of the stylistic conventions of travel writing, it is unique as an anti imperialist, anti classist, and feminist text. Fuller is d eeply concerned with the status of Indians, women, and the diverse body of hard working frontier settlers, and her concern regarding the marginalization of some groups at the hands of others is lin ked to her feminist and Transcendentalist ideals. Fuller po 25 She believed in balance and harmony among human begins and between humans and nature. ve presented a 26 The s ettlers are thus depicted not only as lacking in taste, but ignorant of the beauty surrounding them a nd perhaps even lazy. The Indians are portrayed in a very different light. Fuller notices that they sele beautiful sites for their dwelling s an indication of their good taste, and their the narrative. Fuller depicts th e Indians as non aggressive and well mannered, inclined to embrace and appreciate the natural world. 25 Allen, Achievement of Margaret Ful ler 123. 26 Margaret Fuller, Summer on the Lakes in the Portable Margaret Fuller (New York: Penguin Books, 1994), 96. Further references will be followed by page numbers in parentheses.


38 ua l observation Fuller indicates that the scene of the validating Indian culture is grounded in her desire to alter negative perceptions of Indians in portray ing them as human beings, and by showing that they had their own standards of belief and 27 Fuller understood that the uneven power relationship between whites and Indians, not th e superiority of white culture over Indian culture, resulted in the vilification of Indians and the resulting degradation of Indian life and culture by whites. 28 In other words, Fuller frequently uses her discussion s of the American Indians and the injustices unleashed on Indian culture as a bridge to unveiling her gendered analyzes. While Fuller recognizes and disparages t he gender and race based inequities present in the American West her outlook is ultimately optimistic. As we will see in the various close readings in this chapter, Fuller posits the West as a location of potential change 29 transcendentalist ideals in fluence her perception of the Indians and Indian culture and guide her feminism, they also play a role in her experience of nature. Nature is 27 Allen, Achievement of Margaret Fuller 119. 28 Fish, Black and White 100. 29 Allen, Achievement of Margaret Fuller 144.


39 described in quasi halcyon isles on which nature had lavished all her prodigality in tree, vine, and flower, banked by noble bluffs .mother of beauty, by its sweet and eager flow, had left such lineaments as (99). Nature is described as infinitely beautiful and as inherently humbling. ocial agenda, if one might identify it as such, is powerful in its subtlety. Instead of forcing ideas on her audience, Fuller encourages the reader to enter into a dialogue, to temporarily suspend convention for long enough to notice its contradictions and tatus of women does not prevent her from analyzing the impact of gender norms on men, women, and children, and from dissecting the intersections between race, class, and gender. She is constantly encouraging the rea der to step b ack and see the bigger picture, and of course to ask questions. Critical and Popular Reception Summer on the Lakes was for the most part very well received at the time of its publication knit circle of intellectual friends and peers and selling nearly seven hundred copies in the first six months (a typical first edition usually sold less than five hundred). 30 Prior to the publication of her narrative, Fuller worried incessantly about how it would be received by those to whom she was closest, especially since it was her first full length book of original writing. Fortunately, critics such as Emerson, Thoreau, Greeley, and Poe, hailed Summer on the Lakes for its 31 Greeley, who praised 30 See Charles Capper, Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 1 55, for a detailed description of the publication history of Summer on the Lakes 31 Capper, An American Romantic Life 1 55.


40 32 of the West was sufficiently impressed by the work to offer Fuller a job at the New York Tribune. Of course, some critics described Summer on the Lakes 33 among contemporary scholars who recognize its value as a feminist, anti rac impatience with its interlaced musings, dialogues, tales, poems, book critiques, and other 34 unconventional techniques play in her narr ative, especially in advancing an anti racist and feminist agenda. Charles Capper argues that Summer on the Lakes that makes the book stand apart from the travel writing of her male contemporaries, including Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Whitman. 35 The work was favorably reviewed in the New York Tribune Christian World the Boston Morning Post the anti Transcendentalist Boston Courier the Daily Advertiser and among other publications. 36 It is remar kable that Summer on the Lakes was praised in newspapers and magazines affiliated with a diverse range of political and social v iewpoint Considering its market appeal and favorable reception, it is significant that Summer on the Lakes received little sust ained attention, and continues to be treated as inferior to the travel writing of major male authors. William Stowe, whose book Going Abroad is largely concerned with masculine narratives of travel, is unfortunately correct in his assertion that most peopl 32 Ibid., 154. 33 Ibid. 153. 34 Ibid., 142. 35 Ibid., 154. 36 Ibid., 155.


41 37 prominent and illustrious one at that. Travel Writing Fuller was not a writer of fiction, but she incorporated literary tradition and styl e into her non unique literary contributions, including translations, criticism, journalism, and history, tion in America and that tradition in 38 and self 39 because it at once both and neither. Summer on the Lakes narratives served as vehicles for multiple voices males and female, marked and unmarked, real and invented without establishing a hierarchy among them or a sense of irreversible progress fr 40 Fuller found an ideal venue for self expression in travel writing, but her motives were also pragmatic. Like other writers of the era, Fuller was drawn to the marketability of travel writing and recognized that it s loose convention s provided an excellent framework for her own eclectic 41 Travel also represented one of the few genres in which issues of writing i s importantly linked to feminist agenda. When Fuller embarked on her travels West in century 37 38 Zwarg, Feminist Conversations 2. 39 Ibid., 2. 40 S 41 Ibid., 242.


42 42 dominated her w riting, and consequently her agenda as a travel writer. It is this concern w ith the unequal power dynamic between men and women in the nineteenth century that unites the entries, dialogues, tales of disastrous marriages, poems, commentaries on Indians, letters, and histo rical sketches 43 that make up Summer on the Lakes Historical, Professional, and Personal Context of Publication Summer on the Lakes dynamic peri od in history. The travel genre was extremely popular during the Antebellum era, second only to fiction in terms of readership and sales. Furthermore, the West was undergoing a of the last of the 44 With the onslaught of settlers headed West and the West 45 Fuller had also acquired a significant follow Boston. Thus, Fuller chose an ideal time to produce a travel narrative. il her return from travels out West Several of her male peers, including Emerson, Th oreau, and Greeley, advised her regarding publishing options. Emerson persuaded her to secure a prestigious firm offering high royalties, but Fuller ultimately and coming Boston house of Charles Little and James Br 42 Kelley, introduction, xxii. 43 Ibid., xxiii. 44 Capper, An American Romantic Life 123. 45 Ibid., 140.


43 costs, and the co 46 Fuller was told that her travel writing had the poten 47 Fuller was excited by the prospect of a new landscape 48 and all that it signified in terms of expanding and honing her ideas. She had, of course, just Dial in which she had 49 Fuller had a distinct sense of what she planned to incorporate into her travel writing and what she aimed to achieve. She was interested in writing a well researched intellectual t ravel narrative, which 50 In order to achieve this goal, she did a great deal of reading prior to her trip to prepare herself for what she might encounter. She continued her reading and res earch after her trip because she appreciated travel 51 She was the first women granted access to the Harvard College Library, and she resources, reading every book she could find on Amer ican Indians as well as all of the major works of exploratory literat ure that she could find on the West 52 Format, Content, and Areas of Focus Having just resigned from the Dial and temporarily ceased her Boston Conversations, Fuller travelled West in the summer of 1843. Fuller journeyed through Niagara, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, lodging in private homes as well as hotels. Her four month excursion via rail, steamboat, carriage, and wagon, offered her ample opportunity to interact with a vast 46 Ibid., 141. 47 Ibid., 140. 48 Ibid., 123. 49 Steele, introduction, xxxiv. 50 Ibid., 140. 51 Ibid., 141. 52 See Capper An American Romantic Life 141


44 range of individuals from all backgrounds and social classes. But Fuller was not entirely independent in that she had male supervision and protection for most of her journey. Fuller began her travels with her friends Sarah Clarke and James Freeman Clarke. James women 53 chaperoned their tour of the Illinois prairie. The women did make a side trip without male chaperones to Wisconsin, and Fuller stayed alone among the Indians on Mackinaw Island for nine d ays, indicating that females could travel safely and productively without male supervision. Summer on the Lakes is arranged in seven chapters, each named after the region that it describes. Fuller includes dates, for example the first entry is dated June 10, 1843 at Niagara, but they are inconsistent and rarely align with the chapter headings. The content of the narrative is diverse, in cluding descriptions of the landscape, stories, prover bs, poetry, and prose. My reading and analysis of Summer on the Lakes will focus on three specific sections in the text: the first concerns story about a young girl women. I. The Unfitness of the Female Frontier Settlers The first scene that I want to look more closely at occurs in chapter three o f the narrative, aro and her companions into their home where they are able to get a sense of the lifestyle and customs of the frontier settlers. Fuller depicts th e country as idyllic and contrasts urban and rural life, indicating her preference for the latter. As in all of her travel writing, Fuller is captivated by 53 Paula Blanchard, Margaret Fuller: From Transcendentalism to Revolution (New York: Delacorte Press/S. Lawrence, 1978), 196.


45 the natural environment and adjusts quickly to the shifting environment around her But her delight in the natural world is overshadowed by her serious concern with the peculiar and uncomfortable position of many of the female migrants who are accustomed to a more urban environment and lifestyle. mod est double log cabin, which she envisions as of a West veiled every rudeness availed itsel f of every The family, too, is extremely congenial and Fuller reminisces on the She is welcomed into the community and encouraged to ponder the prospect of relocating to the West Fuller attends a makeshift Fourth of July celebration, which includes traditional drumming and fifing, a speech delivered by a New England born orator, and a bountiful dinner provided by the townspeople. She imagines the West especially early on in her narrative, as a place of great potential in terms of social and political progress. She frequently refers to the children of the settlers as if they might one day represent a new strain of Americans. Fuller describes the children at the Fourth of July celebration, waving their American flags, as dr Fuller is attra cted to the small town and its friendly inhabitants, as well as the social and economic prospects offered by the frontier as a whole and enters into a lengthy soliloquy on the merits of the West The frontier does not discriminate against the poor or unkn own or those unable to survive in the fiercely competitive environment of the East coast. With only a small


46 sum of money a man can purchase a fair lot of land and with moderate labor sustain his family fires and plenty of fish, gam e, and wheat and thus no fear of going hungry or struggling to put dinner on the table each evening. Furthermore, the houses are too scattered to necessitate fences or impressive facades. Suspicion and o stentation can be dispensed with. There is also no need for the staunch and stressful economy that the city demands. The most appealing aspect of the frontier to Fuller is idea that sons West the land provides its inhabitants with everything th ey might need: space to build, fields to work, and food West as a land of equal the qua lities best adapting for the strifes of competition, but of the delicate, the thoughtful, even terms of her social egalitarianism. In this particular to common the interests of a new country and a new life (106). Many of the settlers are well


47 West It has generally been the choice of the men, and the women follow, as women will, in heartsickness and weariness. Beside it frequently not being a choice or conviction of their own minds that it is best to be here, their part is the hardest, and they are least fitted for it. The men can find assistance in field labor, and recreation with the fun and fishing rod. Their bodily strength is greater, and enables them to bear and enjoy both these forms of life. The women can rarely find any aid in d omestic labor. All its various and careful tasks must often be performed, sick or well, by the mother and daughters, to whom a city education has imparted neither the strength nor skill now demanded. (106) She goes to describe the unique ways in which poor female settlers and women who were raised pages to outlining the sources and repercussions of the problem, assessing its severity, and suggesting possible soluti ons. In his analysis of this par ticular passage, Stowe remarks: reason, a stereotypically male approach, instead of emotion and sentiment, in develo ping her argument. The tenets of her argument are as follows: first, female settlers rarely choose to relocate to the frontier themselves. They go along with the wishes of their husbands. Second, their role in the new territory is more difficult than that of their husbands, and they lack vital s kills. Many of the settlers are educated and trained in arts that are largely useless on the frontier. To make matters worse, they can find no assistance in their domestic duties. Third, the onslaught of duties nega tively impacts women of all classes. The wives of poor settlers are, accordingly to Fuller, under every disadvantage to keep up the necessary routine of small women have scarce resources for pleasure outside of their housework, which might alleviate


48 learnt to ride, to drive, to row, a only imagines women engaging in a wide range of physical pursuits associated with bodily movement and freedom, but she envisions them traveling independently, alone. dissatisfaction with the unpreparedness of female settlers lessens when she begins to talk about the little girls of the settlers body, dexterity, simple tastes, and resources that would fit them to enjoy and refine the West ern were typically valued in young boys, not young women. emphasis on the importance of bodily strength and independence for both sexes is grounded in her transce ndental ideals a s well as her feminist ideals. Her goal in the female settlers, is to encourage new ways of thinking about appropriate hobbies and plaints about the situation of women should not be read as pessimistic or as an indictment of the West but as a criticism of the north, and its failure to provide women with the skills nece ssary to lead a stimulating and self as she turns her attention to the prospects for the young women and girls being raised in the West Having opened the floor for discussion on the issue of wo Fuller thus begins another longer section, meant to drive home the importance of practical education for West ern women. Fuller acknowledges the power of entrenched stereotypes and social expectations: young West ern women


49 do not behave in such a way. Fuller sees no reason why the West of the women setters. might receive a proper education Fuller views such ideas as misgui ded at best, fatal at worst. She feels that the mothers are setting up their children, particularly their young girls experience a circumstance which actually interrupted her rigorous classical education. She felt degraded by the curriculum offered to the girls, particularly its emphasis on music, sewing, dancing and drawing, as well as manners and morals. She most resented the cessation of her studies in Latin and Greek. Fuller yearned for a school that catered to her individual needs, challenged her, and prepared her for life in her neck of the woods, and it is this that she w ants for the young daughters of West after successful schools in Boston and New York, such schools would cater to the unique needs and circumstances of young people growing up on ly strength to enjoy


50 good health and the beautiful country around them. Such an innovative education would provide girls and boys with equal acces s to the skills essential for navigating their particular environment. It would be much more effectiv e than developing schools modeled after those in Boston and New York, which cater to the needs of elevant to girls and boys, her focus is first and foremost on females. She imagines the infinite potential and happiness of the female unbound and enabled to realize her potential. She encourages the reader to envision such a young woman: An elegance woul d diffuse around her, and if her mind were opened to appreciate elegance; it might of a kind new, original, enchanting; it might be as different from that of the city belle as that of the prairie torchflower from the shopworn article that touches the cheek of that lady within her bonnet .the woods, the streams, music, and the sincere and familiar intercourse, far more easily to be met here than elsewhere, would afford happiness enough. Her eyes would not grow dim, nor cheeks sunken, in the absence of pa Fuller is doing something really spectacular in this passage. She is attempting to reinvent traditional notions of femininity, to suggest that female elegance does not need to be defined by particular acti vities or particular fashions. Just as Fuller compares an Indian village to a beautiful (107) one is not superior to the other. She rejects the hierarchy betwe en country and city, masculine and feminine, and wealthy and poor, instead arguing for a recognition of but not indictment of difference. Fuller is at once subtle and convincing. A woman might be elegant in her communion with nature; she might be enchantin g and original even without a new hat; and she might be happy without lavish parties, rejoicing in solitude. She might delight in family, her conception of womanho od is that it treats women as complex human begins instead of objects.


51 in contrast, she extols them but she refuses to draw a line between those activities appropriate for women and those appropriate for men. She further destabilizes the boundary between the genders by employing a young woman (107) without being subject to reprimand. As we will see in the next close reading, Fuller invokes similar ideas in her portrayal of Mariana. Fuller constantly questions and frequently rejects conventions and her subtle pet peeves illuminate larger issues. For example, toward the end of this passage pertaining to the education of young women Fuller indicates her frustration that so many women learn piano when they arguments. The piano is large and can not be easily carried around. Furthermore, many ladies do not know how to tune their pianos and consequently spoil their ear by playing an instrument that (108 ), which can be easily kept in tune by most ladies, and provides an excellent accompaniment to the voice. Fuller suggests that the piano is played not because it is the most well liked or She views this as an absurd reason for its popularity in the West especially since its popularity in the East can be attributed to its repute in Europe. Fuller has no patience for custom when it is grounded in pretension instead of pragmatism.


52 As a whole, this passage is significant for a number of reasons. Fuller discerns the unique impact that asymmetrical gender relations have on female settlers. By illuminating the uselessness of some of the social skills and accompli shments so prized in the east, Fuller reveals that such skills are not inherently valuable. They are skills of adornment, not skills of survival, and thus do not foster self reliance. She uses her observations as a framework for developing suggestions abou t education in the West emphasizing its particular relevance to the advancement of young women. Ultimately, she lays a groundwork for re conceptualizing appropriate male and female roles and activities in the West and empowering young women. My next readi ng is linked thematically to the first in its concern with the roles allotted to women. This fifteen prone to digression and philosophical reflection. It is also an example of her subt le, but effective method of encouraging the reader to think about gender construction and its ramifications. II. The Tragedy of Mariana The story of Mariana begins abruptly in the midst of a dinner party leaving the reader to ponder the apparently tangen tial relationship between the story and the text. In fact, the section of the narrative in which Mariana springs to life begins on quite a different subject. Fuller is traveling in the region around Chicago, Illinois, and is fascinated by several aspects o f the environment. She admires the forests, which are unlike those in New England because the trees appreciates the diverse array of wild flowers, poetic exchange between a solitary man and a passing traveler, and then returns to descriptions displays of nature, nigh ts around the hotel table ew stories


53 Even though Fuller assures the reader that anyone with a large acquaintance may be pretty sure of me unlikely coincidence when Fuller encounters the aunt of an old schoolmate. However, this reunion plays an important role in ry of Mariana. peers. Yet, the narrator of the s tory seems distinct from Fuller, so I will refer to her as the In unpacking the story of Mariana, we begin to understand its role in the text and to recognize its remarkable scope in confronting gender inequalities. Under the guise of an engaging story, Fuller effectively calls into question the way in which girls are so cialized, offers an alternative model of female behavior, and challenges marital inequalities. the narrator that her childhood friend Mariana is dead. The narrator istory. The young Mariana was sent from her parental home to live with her aunt so that she might receive an education on the Atlantic coast. Her aunt enrolled Mariana in boarding school for a time so that she could break into dance or song, but they soon became agitated with her unpredictability and her unwillingness to fo llow the lead of others. Some singular habits she had which, when new, charmed, but after acquaintance, displeased her companions. She had by nature the same habit and power of excitement that is described in the spinning dervishes of the East. Like them, she would spin until all around her were giddy, while her own brain, instead of being disturbed, was excited to action. Pausing, she would declaim verse of others or her own; act many parts, with strange catch words and burdens that seemed to act with myst ical power on her own fancy, sometimes stimulating her to convulse in laughter, someti mes to melt her to tears. (119)


54 Mariana defies convention on several accounts. She does not act like a lady assionate. Several key words stand out in this passage invoking an image of Mariana as one in ond to imbalance and motion as one might expect. gazing out from a balcony, absorbing the outside world. She is comforted by enormity and the sublime beauty of nature, like Fuller herself, and stifled by the routine and confinement. (120). Not coincidentally, most of the principal roles fall to Mariana and she insists on having the final stay in all the workings and arrangements of the production much to the chagrin of her peers For a time, Mariana bu t her happiness is short lived, as it seems always to be. amusing, but so ofte in the midst of a world which [despises] he taunts of her peers, but after dinner she retreats to her room, locks the door, and is overcome by


55 (122). She discards her wild and inventive tendencies and her behavior becomes noticeably subdued. Out of remorse, and perhaps curiosity about the now reclusive Mariana, her peers seek her out and attempt to befriend her. But h er residual anger causes her to act out of character and to provoke hostility among her peers: And the demon rose within her, and spontaneously, without design, generally without words of positive falsehood, she b ecame a genius of discord among them. She fanned those flames of envy and jealou sy which a wise, true word from a third will often quench forever; by a glance, or a seemingly light reply, she planted the seeds of dissension, till there was scarce a peaceful affection, or sincere intimacy in the ci rcle where she lived, and c ould not but rule, for she was o ne whose nature was to that of others as fire to clay. (122) Mariana appears ladylike and is now popular among her peers, but her actions are unkind and ult of bad, hateful feelings, and her sudden interest in social interaction is grounded in a desire to hurt people. The narrator interrupts the story at this point, to describe her own interaction with the now vicious Mariana. In her first encounter with M ariana, the narrator is overwhelmed by her beauty, (123). But Mariana snatches her hand away and, laughing, retreats into her room. We hear little more about the narrator, giving further credence to the theory that the alleged friendship between the narrator and Mariana is fabricated. Fuller uses the story of Mariana as a strategic teaching device an example of what happens to some highly energetic and original fem ales. The despite initial attempts to defend herself she must eventually submit to the truth. Mariana, wi th her head, with all her force, against the i ron hearth, on which


56 a fire [is] burning, and [is] bec me a love with a man named Sylvain and ariana is immediately attracted to Sylvain, quite inferior to her and woman by course there would be no problem if Sylvain loved first or most even extends to her romantic relationships she usurps the male role and she suffe rs for it. The couple is happy at first, but Mariana soon recognizes their incompatibility. She is an engaging in stimulating conversation with her. Out of desperation and love, Mariana ignores the would rather live miserably with him than live without him. Fuller cautions the reader no t to


57 (127) even though he lacks the necessary knowledge and faculties to pursue such things. at least not when the female is the superior being. Sylvain expects his wife to play the part of The narrator The sort of talent and faculty she had displa yed in early days, were not the least like what is called out in the social world by the desire to please and to shine. Her excitement had been muse like, that of the improvisatrice, whose kindling fancy seeks to crate an atmosphere round it, an d makes the chain through which to set free its electric sparks. There had been a ti me of wild and exuberant life. A fter her character became more tender and con centrated strong affection or a pure enthusiasm might still have called out beautiful talents in her. (12 8) pure and genuine, the inspired talent of a great artist, not the artificial talent of a charming social presence. Fuller seems intent on portraying Mariana as an unappreciated genius. Cheryl Fish reads the transgressive body and desi social spaces for those whose acceptance she believed would herald the American form of 54 male, serve as an impediment to her success. Where she might have been admired, she is instead ridiculed and policed, most often by the women around her. Her indolent, preoccupied husband is content in his life of leisure and exercises total power over his wife despite his intellectual and moral inferiority. As a wealthy man, Sylvain frequently travels with his male companions on ies. She has come full circle and found herself in much the same situation as she was as a young girl in boarding school. 54 Fish, 97.


58 Mariana falls sick. She stops eating and withdraws from the world entirely. He r spi rit has been slowly choked out of her, and it is as if to p 55 The story of 56 through which Fuller imagines a restructured American society, one that both facilitates and embraces female gen ius, for her current society is not ready. In the next passage, Fuller considers the status of Indian women, frequently comparing the white woman with the Indian woman and illuminating the oppression of women across cultures. While Fuller depicts Mariana a s possessing a number of stereotypically Indian characteristics wild, restless, vibrant she portrays the Indian women as behaving in ways that align with standards of white femininity. Fuller constantly challenges stereotypes by reversing and unraveling th em, displaying them in new and powerful ways. III. The Status of Indian Women chapter six, in which she observes first hand the interaction between men and women in several Indian tribes at Mackinaw. Mackinaw is an island famous for its beauty, which Fuller picked out specifically for an extended visit without friends or companions F uller was likely aware ahead of time that in the last week of August, the time at wh ich she planned her visit, a large number of Indians hailing from the Ch ippewa and Ottowa tribes flock to the island to receive their annual payments from the American government. There are already around 2,000 Indians encamped on the island when Fuller ar rives and she expects to see many more. She lands on the island in the 55 Fish, 97. 56 Fish, 97.


59 pitch dark and is escorted by a stranger to her hotel. Fuller expects to sleep in her own room, but finds no such thing, resting instead in the common parlor and eating room. She does n ot complain once. In fact, she seems to delight in the strange and unexpected and everything that r eak sh irst day exploring, woods. There is a white fort on the island, Fort Holmes, from which s he has a magnificent view afternoon on Mackinaw comes when she discovers an ideal height from which she can observe atting, so soft, and bright of hue, in the late afternoon e watches the women preparing food in kettles or frying pans over small fires and some girls but Fuller reminds herself at intervals that things are not always as they appear. She notices several happy babies with bright Fuller is cautious and thoughtful in her judgments, especially when they concern gender inequities and the status of women. She is interested in seeing the whole picture and gaining as hority when she


60 has first hand experience. When she does make an argument, as we saw in the first close reading, she provides several pieces of supporting evidence. In cases in which she lacks or has limited first hand experience, she is ap t to call upon o utside sources. Fuller takes advantage of every opportunity to watch and interact with the Indians. She immediately catches o n to the vital role of gesture and relies on communication by signs to communicate with the other women. She carefully observes the ir movements and actions, of this point. Fuller introduces the reader to an individual named Mrs. Schoolcraft, 57 an American Indian literary writer, who argues that Indian higher and freer prove her own point, but to enliven the conversation, to provide fodder for deeper, more valuable thought. Fuller is attrac and wom en, but the reasons for and meaning of their roles. For example, she frequently describes the division of labor between men and women and its role in maximizing productivity. In the next few paragraphs, Fuller draws upon a medley of voices and offers the r eader several lucid 57 See J ane J. Schoolcraft and Robert D. Parker, The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), which includes the complete writings of Jane Schoolcraft, an Americ an Indian literary writer (1800 1842).


61 experiences among the Mohawk Indians: I have witnessed scenes of conjugal and parent rom which I have often, often th ought the e ducated white man, proud of his Superior civilization might learn a useful lesson. When he returns from hunting, worn out with fatigue, having tasted nothing since dawn, his wife, if she is a good wife, will take off his moccasins and replace th em with dry ones, and will prepare his game for their repast, while his children climb upon him, and he will caress them with all the tenderness of a woman; and in the evening the wigwam is the scene of the p urest domestic pleasures. (177) This is in inter esting passage in that it simultaneously defies and confirms gender stereotypes. Mrs. Schoolcraft admits that women are confined to the home and that their job is to care for their husbands, but she places this apparently hierarchical gender dynamic in the context of a hunting society. Mrs. Schoolcraft views gender roles as a necessary, healthy, and conducive to with her husband as the white woman (177) learning and that this contributes to dom affection for his children is described in feminine terms. the ideas of another woman, Mrs. Grant, to represent an o pposing viewpoint. Describing her less positive experience among the Mohawks of North America, Mrs. Grant writes: Here a woman never was of consequence, till she had a son old enough to fight the battles of his country. From that date she held a superior rank in society; was allowed to live at ease, and even called to consultations on national affairs. In savage and warlike countries, the reign of beauty is very short, and its influences comparatively limited. The girls in childhood had a very pleasing app earance .every external grace was soon banished by perpetual drudgery, carrying burdens too heavy to be borne, and other slavish employments considered beneath the dignity of men .They were very early married, for a Mohawk has no other


62 servant but his wife .Wherever man is a mere hunter, woman is a mere slave .The Mohawks took good care not to admit their women to share their prerogatives, till they approved themselves good wives and mothers. (177 8) Mrs. Grant paints a very different pictur e than Mrs. Schoolcraft. According to her, young wives is not until they reach old age as the mothers of dignified men that they are treated well. Ultimately her own travel writing. Despite her own first hand experience among Indian groups and queen presiding over the tribe instead of a sachem. 58 Accor ding to Carver, in some tribes the she adhered strictly to the gender expectations of her tribe, asking few questions and interfering little in matters of th e state. The position of the Winnebago queen reminds Fuller of Queen between Indian women and white women, noticing their similarities far more often than their differences. Fuller uses the aforementioned stories and anecdotes as a foundation upon which she places her own opinion. She develops a powerful argument, illuminating the positive and negative aspects of Indian life for women, especially in compari son to the life for West ern 58 See Jonathon Carver, Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America, in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768 (Minneapolis: Ross & Haines, 1956), the text which Fuller is referring to.


63 neve r pressing too close or staring When Fuller shows the women some of her foreign looking air of lady he nations of European civil ization (179). Many of the husbands among the tribes, like husbands in European culture, appreciate the beauty and enjoy the company of their young some degree of power at home as the caretakers of the household. While Fuller recognizes the outlets of power available to Indian women, she insists such respect, as view themselves as possessing the same value and having access to the same life opportunities as men, they will occupy an inferior position. to one sphere. nuanced analysis of the status of Indian women illuminates the positive and negative aspec ts of their cultural role. The y are able, kind, and graceful, and domestic life seems to offers its fair share of pleasure s but it also confines and stifles them. Women are valued in their youth and in some cases in their old age, but they are overlooked for the majority of their lives. views their differences as largely based on culture. Ultimately, Fuller is unenthusiastic about the status of Indian women: Notwithstan ding the homage paid to women, the consequences allowed her in some cases, it is impossible to look upon the Indian women, without feeling that they do occupy a lower place than women among the nations of European civilization .More weariness than angu ish, no doubt, falls to the lot of most of these women.


64 They inherit submission, and the minds of the generality accommodate themselves more or less to any posture. Perhaps they suffer less than their white sisters, who have more aspiration and refinement, with little power of self sustenance. But their place is certainly lower, and their share of human inheritance less. (179) since it forces her to consider the sta tus of white women. Both groups are severely marginalized, although the white woman is perhaps better able to evaluate her mistreatment. Five trends c rop up in this passage that further characterize Full whole: polyvocality; a will ingness to learn and to suspend judgment; a tendency to offer open ended argu ments and flexible conclusions; a sustained and genuine int erest in women and their lives; and finally, an eagerness to find similarities between stereotypically dissimilar groups I will now consider these trends in terms of this last close reading that deals with the status of Indian women. First, this passage is marked by polyvocality, a concept that William Stowe has 59 we hear the voices of Mrs. Schoolcraft, Mrs. Grant, and Carver but Fuller also encourages us to imagine the voices of the Indian women telling their own story. Next, Fuller s observations are 60 ; she acts as observer not pros and cons for a while and calls upon the opinions of several other scholars. When she finally admi humanity of the women, admiring their grace and self possessed beari ng and their ability to make the best of their situations. 59 60 Fish, 103.


65 Unlike many white female travel writers during the early nineteenth century, Fuller is more apt to draw similarities between different cultures and people than she is to highlight differences. On multiple occasions, Fuller emphasizes t he compatibility between Indian an d European modes heir decorum and delicacy are striking, and show that when these are native to the the stereotypical, but largely transparent barriers between cultures, social classes, races, and genders. 61 of her travel writing and to the potency of her gendered erest in translation and communication, her open mindedness, her tireless reading, and her curiosity regarding social roles and gender hierarchies, are precisely the tools that enable her to develop a transgressive narrative. Summer on the Lakes is a text that challenges sexism, racism, and classism, often by leading the reader down apparently tangential paths that turn out to be quite relevant after all. 61 Capper, An American Romantic Life 155.


66 CHAPTER 4 EDITH WHARTON: TELLI NG TALES FROM TRAVEL S ABROAD AND DEMYSTI FYING THE MOROCCAN HAREM Edith W harton, born in 1862, is widely considere novelists and short story writers, with an outstanding critical reputation 1 She was a best selling, critically and commercially successful author during her lifetime, at one p oint earning the distinction of 2 and her popularity has perhaps increased in the decades since her death in 1937. To a lesser exte 3 and despite her critical acclaim she was not always confident in her reputation or the literary legacy that would leave. Wharton is known for her fiction, but she also co mposed a significant body of non fiction, including her extensive travel writing. Wharton was recognized among her contemporaries as an exceptional writer, 4 no small a thors. It required great effort on the part of scholars, such as Wharton biographer Blake Nevius, 5 and intell ectual interest groups such as the Edith Wharton Society, organized in 1984, to resuscitate her literary reputation. 1 Carol J. Singley, introduction to A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2003), 3. 2 Singley, introduction, 3. 3 Ibid., 4. 4 James W. Tuttleton, Kristin O. Lauer, and Margaret P. Murray, introduction to Edith Wharton: The Contemporary Reviews (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1992), xxi. 5 See Blake Nevius, Edith Wharton: A Study of Her Fiction ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1953 ). This early biography treats Wharton as a serious literary figure.


67 In Morocco, an account of her one month visit to Morocco in 1918. I wil l preface my reading of t he travel narrative with a description of In Morocco history tracking the evolution of her re putation over the course of her life and after her death. I will unpack context of her larger career. Wharton hailed from an extremely prominent and wealthy family, which enabled her to pursue her writing career and to promote her work with more ease than Fuller or Cather wealth, steeped in traditional values, and well practiced in patte rns of ritualized behavior, 6 placing Wharton in a structure of entrenched social beliefs and hierarchies. Wharton was an Europe between the ages of five and twenty one that, according to the estimat e of R. W. B. Lewis, she had lived a total of eight of her first twenty one years abroad 7 According to Shari Benstock she crossed the Atlantic over sixty times and took advantage of the time to develop new writing projects or to work on existing ones. S he would often write on a portable typewriter while crossing Europe by 8 Perhaps because of the major role that travel p layed in her life from an early age, travel writing offered Wharton an important outlet for self 6 Singley, introduction, 5. 7 Mary S. Schriber, Discovery American Literature 59.2 (May 1987): 25 7. 8 See Shari Benstock, preface to Edith Wharton Abroad: Selected Travel Writings, 1888 1920 ( New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1995), xxviii.


68 springboard of [her] 9 It is significa earliest attempts at professional writing came i n the form of travel writing, and her tr avel books were finely written craft in the construction 10 Mary Suzanne Schriber travel books might be understood as a kind of fiction. She supports her claim by describing the process by which Wharton composed her travel writing: she would compile her recollections in narrative form, create a realisti c narrator, insert suspense into the plot, and incorporate literary metaphors and personifications. She would also revise her narratives over time as one might a novel. 11 Wha literary and theatrical efforts 12 that give it a novelistic feel. Sarah Bird Wright suggests that In Morocco Arabian Nights 13 the legendary Persian Queen and storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights I will return to this concept of travel writ ing as qu asi fiction in my reading of In Morocco especially as it relates to issues of c olonialism and the tourist gaze. Much of this chapter will comprise a close reading and gendered analysis of In Morocco. ey, In Morocco is at once a guidebook, a feminist travel narrative, and an engaging fairy tale with literary flare. It might also be read as an endorsement of French colonialism, a concept that I will explore in further detail. It includes a preface, five 9 Ibid., xviii. 10 Schriber avel Writing as Self Discovery 261. 11 Ibid., 261. 12 Benstock, preface, xix. 13 Ibid ., xix.


69 e Wharton describ es her experience entering the inner circle of a harem. I will situate this narrative e its relationship to her other pieces of travel writing. I will also describe its initial reception and indicate its legac y as part of the Wharton canon as well as a body of writing predicated on Oriental and colonial ideologies. Wharton's narrative simu ltaneously illuminates her specific and personal understanding of major literary reputation and the positive reception of In Morocco the text has been criticall y neglected and rarely mined for its rich gendered content. It s reception and ensuing neglect, despite its rich material and apparent popular appeal, illuminate the meaning of women traveling In this way it is like Summer on the Lakes and Willa Cather in Europe. All three texts were well received, or at least critically acknowledged, and then eventually discarded, forgotten, and denied a place alongside popularized travel narratives written by male liter ary figures such as Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, and Henry James. I will posit In Morocco as a feminis what it means to be a woman, to be a woman in relation to men, and to be a woman in relation to soc 14 I will also suggest that, despite her reliance on tropes of colonialism and Orientalism, even directly articulated, has the potential to destabilize Wha 14 Tuttleton, introduction, xxi.


70 Occident and Orient In Morocco suggests the possibility of supplementing the colonial gaze 15 Biography Social and Class Location George C. Jones and Lucretia Rhinelander Jones welcomed their th ird child, Edith Newbold Jones, on January 24, 1862. Edith Newbold Jones was to become the writer Edith 16 The Jonese 17 The family had a townhouse in the cit y and a cottage in Newport, Rhode Island, and depended on an extensive staff to maintain their extravagant lifestyle. Wharton was expected to follow in the footsteps of her celebrated mother, charitabl 18 Like many wealth y New York families, the Joneses had lost money during the Civil War. In 1866 they relocated to Europe and traveled for six years. They were able to mai ntain their lifestyle abroad for less money while renting out their New York and Newport homes. Thus, between the ages of four and ten Wharton lived in several European countries, including Italy, France, Germany and Spain, and she quickly became proficien t in Italian, French, and German. 15 In Morocco, Studies in Travel Writing 13.3 (Sept. 2009): 243. 16 Singley, introduction, 7. 17 Ibid. 5. 18 Edith Wharton 1862 1937: A Brief Biography in A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 19.


71 would underwrite her art and her 19 The Jonese s returned to New York in 1872 and 20 She had difficult time transitioning back to American culture and it s increasing industrialism and was disillusioned by its transpo rtation, mining, and construction industries on which the nouveaux riche had built their fortunes. Wharton did not have the traditional training that one might expect from a woman who would go on to publ ish twenty five novels. Nonetheless, on account of t he personal initiative that Wharton took to educate herself and her atypical exp osure to travel at an early age, Wharton acquired a solid education that set her apart from most of her female peers. Most young people of attended school or university, as Wharton grew up in a middle class families sent their children to college, but the both Fuller and Cather, hailing from humbler backgrounds than Wharton, were educated away from home at some p oint in their academic careers. 21 Daughters, of course, received a very different education than sons. Young women were tutored in art, music, and f oreign languages, while young men were educated in logic, classics 22 Throughout her 19 Benstock, A Brief Biography 21. 20 Ibid., 21. 21 during her teenage years and Cather 22 Singley, introduction, 6.


72 23 o f an average size, but it English classics and the standard early 19 th century writers great poets an d writings in English, French, and German. 24 25 for her self taboos, literature was part of her life from childhood onwards and she moved from one author to 26 Between 1876 and 1877, Wharton wrote her first thirty thousand word novella, Fast and Loose and between 1880 and 1882, Wharton published two poems in the New York World. on for reading and her unrelenting desire compose stories. Verses in 1879. Ultimat memorable black dress in 1879, just before her eighteenth birthday. Whart on married Edward traveling four months out of the year (the two were inveterate travelers their entire lives). Publication History Financial Success, Evolutio n of Career Considering her prolific career, during which she completed twenty five novels, eighty six short stories, three books of poetry, several volumes of travel writing, and many other pieces of short writing, it is remarkable that Wharton got a rela tively late start as an author. Up until her 23 A Brief Biography 24. 24 Geoffrey Walton Edith Wharton: A Critical Interpretation (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinso n University Press, 1971), 19. 25 Benstock, A Brief Biography 21. 26 Walton, A Critical Interpretation 20.


73 mainly to short stories and travel writing. In the years between 1894 and 1895, Wharton traveled in Italy and wrote tr avel essays, and spent the next few years after that revising a series of short stories, which were published in a collection called The Greater Inclination in 1898. From her earliest publications, critics were forced to admit her skill as a writer, but he elegantly. The editors of Edith Wharton: The Contemporary Reviews the most comprehensive was marked by occasional praise but mostly comparison to Henry James. Wharton resented the constant comparison of her work heires 27 The second phase of Wharton criticism comprises the period between 1905, the year in which she published her bestselling The House of Mirth to 1920, the year in which she published The Age of Innocence for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. W ith the publication of The House of Mirth Wharton finally achieved a degree of separation from James in the eyes of literary critics and popular In the third phase, from 1920 to 1938, Wharton published eight novels, four novellas, four collections of short fiction, a volume of ghost stories and a volume of poe try, an autobiography, and a book discussing the craft of fiction. Despite her continuing output, Wharton was never to 27 Bell, introduction, 4.


74 revisit the professional highpoint that she reached 28 but treated as inferior to her earlier writing. These three phases provide a useful lens for In Morocco in the context of her larger literary oeuvre. The notes for In Morocco were composed during Morocco in 1918, around the height of her literary career, and the narrative was published as a book in 1920. In Morocco 29 Success in the Literary Market place as a Female Writer and Success of Travel Writing 30 Having spent ye ars writing in the shadow of Henry James, Wharton recognized the importance of establishing a good reputation among critics and she understood the obstacles to being taken seriously as a female writer. Nonetheless, in the years between the turn of the nine teenth century 31 her early acquired success in the literary marketplace, commanding large sums up until her death. She produced several bestselling novels, including The House of Mirth which remained at the top of the list for four months and sold 140,000 copies during its first year in publication. The Age of Innocence for which Wharto n won the Pulitzer Prize, was serialized for $18,000 and sold 115,000 copies in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Wharton never allowed her 28 Ibid., 9. 29 Scriber, Writing Home 2. 30 Singley, introduction, 7. 31 Bell, introduction, 7.


75 genera 32 subject while writing for a popular audience. Like her larger body of travel writing, In Morocco was both critically and commercially successful. The book we nt through four editions between 1920 and 1927 33 and copies are still widely available today in major bookstores. That is not to suggest that In Morocco is particularly popular or even known among most contemporary students and critics of literature. As wit h Summer on the Lakes and Willa Travels in Europe it failed to receive sustained critical and popular attention in the wake of its initial popularity. In Morocco receives only a brief mention in major Wharton biographies and is not classified among her more important works. In the last few years, a handful of interdisciplinary scholars, including Lucas Tromly and Robert Hunter, have expressed their interest in the text, making one wonder why it disappeared in the first place. Hi storical, Professional, and Personal Context of Publication In Morocco people, architectu re, customs, and history of the regions, and represents the dramatic changes occurring in Morocco in the aftermath of the First World War. It is an eclectic mix of first hand observations, historical accounts of Moroccan history, and positive representatio ns of French West erners would change the country utterly 32 A Brief Biogra phy 33 1917 Middle Eastern Studies 46.1 (January 2010): 76.


76 34 In Morocco has all the ingredients of best selling travel narrative: an exotic location, a celebrity writer, and social and financial backing. Wharton was at a distinct and important place in her life at the time of her travel in Morocco. She was a well kno wn writer in the United States and abroad 35 having published a series of best selling and critically acclaimed novels in an extraordinarily prestige but her friendship with General Lyautey, Resident General of France in Morocco, that landed her a writing assignment abroad. General Lyautey invited her to attend a fair at Rabat, and soon after Wha rton proposed to her publisher, Scribners, the concept o f writing several illustrated articles based on her trip to Morocco, which would later be published as a book. She 36 Scrib n ers agreed and Wharton embarked on her 41 day trip through Morocco. Wharton arrived at 37 in the history of Morocco and took advantage of the rare opportunity to traverse a country that had been closed off to West erners for decades, to act a s explorer. She received VIP treatment from General Lyautey, who made what might have been 38 trip quite pleasurable. Wharton met with the general at the beginning of her visit, and he quickly ach, a military chauffeur as 39 He also offered her financial support, oftentimes arranging 34 Ibid., 61. 35 Ibid., 60. 36 Ibid., 60. 37 Ibid., 61. 38 Ibid., 62. 39 Ibid., 62.


77 40 and making certain that she had every opportunity to meet important Moroccan and French military and civil authorities. Morocco and the form and content of her travel narrative. She was accountable to the French General as well as to her publisher in the United Sta tes. How she negotiated writing her own narrative while placating her sponsors is a topic for another paper, but it is relevant to bear in mind when assessing her narrative. As a side note, Wharton does devote an entire chapter launching a tourism initiative was, of course, professionally and economically strategic. Readers were eager t o hear about the inner workings of Morocco and Scribners was eager to make a profit. Furthermore, it is hard not to align Wharton with the French colonial mission when the Resident General of France in Morocco sponsored her tra vels and she vehemently suppo rted French intervention in Morocco. Some recent critics, such as Lucas Tromly, posit In Morocco as 41 While this is a valid and important assessment of the text, it is sti particular understanding of French colonialism in Morocco however problematic, and to Some scholars including Nancy Bentley, describe the way in wh ich Wharton differentiated between French colonialism and the colonialism of other Imperial empires, such as England. According to Bentley, Wharton saw French intervention as a means of salvaging 40 Ibid., 62. 41 Tro


78 Moroccan art, architecture, and traditions that had been des troyed by Moroccans themselves during the First World War. 42 She believed that French intervention on the part of individuals the Th is perspective is flawed for two major reasons: first, it overlooks the destructive repercussions of French colonialism while condemning the colonialism of others countries ; and second, it infantilizes the Moroccan people by discounting their agency. Whart on Bentley explains, 43 If Bentley is attempting to argument falls shor t. In examining t is appropriate Orientalism (1978) which posits the relationship rying degrees of a 44 in which the Occident is imagined as superior and the Orient is treated as 45 as Orientals or Arabs were treated as uncivilized, exot ic, and child like, in need of intervention and ist tropes of Moroccan vulnerability and weakness in justifying French colonialism. Even as she distances herself from the negative as p ects of mod Moroccan people cannot appreciate the beauty of their own cultural artifacts and are unfit to 46 them is grounded in colonialist and Orientalist thinking. 42 168. 43 Ibid., 167. 44 Edward Said, Orientalism ( New York: Vintage Books, 1994), 4. 45 Ibid., 39. 46


79 Moroccan c ulture is treated as a cultural artifact that must be preserved for western appreciation and enjoyment. 47 but it is also important to differentiate between the power shaping the authorial identity (class, ethn 48 Imperialism and relationship to colonialism is distinct from that of her male counterparts and also very different from the experiences of colonized women. Her tour of Morocco and her travel narrative are dependent on financial and social backing from men. While she might exercise colonial power over the women that she encounters in the harems, she is still in a position of limited power. I will posit In Morocco as a feminist text and my reading will illu minate the ways in which the narrative acknowledges, but frequently undermines, Oriental stereotypes by revealing their speciousness. Wharton absolutely employs tr opes of Orientalism, but often in a way that destabilizes and effectively disrupts gender ste reotypes associated with the Harem. The cracks in 49 While such 50 into the narrative. We hear the voice s of the Moroccan women and are able to envision their lives prior to entering the harem. 47 McEwan, Gender, Ge ography, and Empire 8. 48 Ibid., 9. 49 50 Ibid., 243.


80 wil lingness to work within a structure of colonial power makes her part of the colonial system, but it also enables her to gain access to the inner sanctum of the harem and communicate with women that she would otherwise never have encountered. In Morocco : F ormat, Content, and Area of Focus In Morocco published in 1919, comprises a preface, eight chapters of narrative, a list of books consult ed, and an index. The first four parts of the country: Rabat and Sa l; Voluis, Moulay Idr iss and Meknex; Fez; and Marrakech. The fifth chapter focuses specifically on the harems that Whartons visits in each of these cities. includ e a sketch of Moroccan history and an analysis of In Morocco, is significant for its rich, gendered analysis of the women that Wharton encounters in the inner sanctum of the ha rem. It is also the 51 Americans traveling abroad in the early twentieth century, especially those with European connections, like Wharton, witnessed the collision between the past colonial imposition the Harem the ultimate clash between the speed and mobility of the modern world and the indolence and lethargy of the a ncient world. Several themes recur in each of the five sections of this chapter, and provide an excellent ovelistic. The reader often feels as if she has stepped into a fairy tale, but Wharton frequently juxtaposes the surreal with the harsh the status 51 Ibid., 245.


81 of women represents a sec ond theme ; her interest in the landscape as well as political and social dignitaries is constantly overshadowed by her observations regarding the women. Modernity also plays a foremost role in the text, both in terms of the motor vehicles that Wharton ride s around in Finally, the text is structured around tropes of Orientalism and colonialism. These themes differ in some ways from those that crop up in the travel writing of Margaret Fuller and Willa Cather, but in others they overlap. All three authors hover around the delicate boundary line that separates travel writing from fiction, charting their narratives around physical geography as well as the complex geography of their minds. They us e the genre as a tool for breaking down gender and class stereotypes and challenging normative ideas. I. The Crowd in the Street immediately relies on suspense to enga colorful crowds 52 (162) that characterize the clothing, and contribute to the beauty of the scene. Almost immediately, Wharton comments that only a few foreigners have access to sumptuous ness simultaneously as an outsider and an insider a civilized America n observing the beauty of the foreign crowds and an honored visitor privy to the identity 52 Edith Wharton, In Morocco: Illustrated (Hopewell, N.J: Ecco Press, 1996), 1 62. Further references will be followed by page numbers in parenthes es.


82 coupled with he r identity as an American woman will also position her in a dual role as a female insider and a cultural ou tsider. I call attention to the distinction between outsider and insider because Wharton dances along the thin line that separates insiders from outsiders, men from women, and the wealthy from the poor to incite suspense Anyone might have been born on the other side of the line. 53 The conclusion to this short opening is jarring prejudices. Having just elucidated the beauty of the country and the harmonious interaction among city s democratic in appearance as a society of to whom Wharton refers as the villain in her travel narrative. II. Aid El Kebir harton standing in the blue ipomeas at the first shimmer of light on black cypresses and white tobacco Aid el attending such ceremonies. Like Fuller and Cather Wharton does an excellent job of depicting the scenery around her. However, unlike in Fuller and in Cather, one senses here detachment from the scene, as an outsider looking in. In contrast, Cather immerses herself in her environment, and describes the scene in terms of her relationship to it. Perhaps this diff erence 53 See Ruth Beh ar and Deborah A. Gordon, introduction to Women Writing Culture ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 1 outsider status based on class, gender, and race affiliation.


83 window into the Oriental world, but not a door through which she might enter completely and feel herself at home. Once inside the palace, c olors become ripe with meaning and serve as a guide for Wharton. She green, peach blos som, colored robes indicate the social status and role of each individual within the palace. Color seems to be linked with frivolity, while black and white signi fy positions of dignity. Color also plays a major role in the Imperial Harem, as we will see. (167) runs through the crowd. Wharton explains that the Sacrifi ce of the Sheep mysterious tribes peopling North Africa long age s before the Phoenician prows had rounded the several muscular horse groom and forth betwe en the Black Guard and the tents. The Sultan likes to have a colorful array of options when choosing which horse to mount. dignitaries and the musicians in th bright scant caftans flank his


84 A lengthy ceremony commences, in which more than ten thousand horsemen and chieftains pay their respects to the Sultan. Wharton relies on descriptions of the weather to capture the mood of the cer emony. She describes the change in the weather as the event progresses ceremony continued the dust clouds grew denser and more fiery golden, till at last the forward and s he later Sultan sits unmoved. Wharton is struck by the contrast between t of Cavalry beating against [him] illustrat which rewards its high powered men with a life of languor and stillness. The fat man with a soft round beard fringed face, wrapped in spirals of pure white, one plump hand on his embroidered bridle, his yellow slippered feet thrust heel down in big velvet lined stirrups, beca me, through sheer immobility, a symbol, a mystery, a God .he sat on, hour after hour, under the white hot sky, unconscious of the heat, the dust, the tumult, embodying to all the wild, factious precipitate hordes a long tradition of serene aloofness. ( 170) or take care of himself. His seems like a God only because he is so detached from human experience. Even his senses are apparently numbed. He is not bothere d by the heat or the dusty atmosphere, nor is he frightened or threatened by the raucous crowds. Wharton is opposed to such an indolent lifestyle, and her revulsion becomes more apparent as the narrative progresses. III. The Imperial Mirador Wharton escap es the monotonous ceremony by way of a rapidly driven motorcar. The next


85 welcomed and entertained by ladies of the interior. The Sultan, meanwhile, is to meet w ith (171) and as she traverses each layer of the maze, she steps closer and closer to the inner of an Arab fairy the base of a narrow staircase, who leads them up the landing, where another princess like girl, princess on the final landing, and thus e nter the t all mirador, home to the harem, but it recreates the su rreal nature of her experience. Wharton reifies Orienta l stereotypes by drawing upon images from Arabian fairytales 54 and evokes what Renato Rosaldo would term 55 Rosaldo explains that imperialist nostalgia involves a paradox i 56 We see a similar par a the harem as backward and stifling and yet she delights in its surreal and exotic qualities. s frequently disrupted by such contradictions 57 l sides by a balcony with panes of brightly coloure faced 54 Se e Said, Orientalism in which he talks at length about the prevalence and function of Oriental stereotypes. 55 Renato Rosaldo, Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989), 69. 56 Ibid., 69 57 Mills, Discourses of Difference 2 3.


86 apricot tinted girls in their teens, with high cheek bones, full red lips, surpr ised brown eyes communication is a recurring theme in illustrates the mental state of the women she encounters by describing their eyes. The physical appearance of the young women has been altered to the extreme by dress, body and face make up, and jewelry. Wha rton devotes several pages to the physical description of the young women: Above their foreheads the hair was shaven like that of an Italian fourteenth century beauty, and only a black line as narrow as a penciled eyebrow showed through the twist of gauze fastened by a jeweled clasp above the real eye brows over the forehead rose the complicated structure of the head dress .On each side of the red cheeks other braids were looped over the ears hung with broad earrings of filigree set with rough pearls a nd emeralds, or gold hoops and pendants of coral; and an unexpected tulle ruff, like that of a Watteau shepherdess, framed the round chin above a torrent of necklaces .(174) The young women are painted and decorated like dolls, and their garments are o f light and playful colors, in contrast to the deep Scarlet robes of the Black Guard and the perfect white the beautiful creatures are caged like birds. The dec oration of the young women detracts from their humanity by denying each of them a unique identity. Wharton is unable to distinguish among the young women, because they all appear the same. A young girl enters the harem, remarkable for her bare face and le ss extravagant dress. She


87 but she garners a great deal of respect among the painted women. She greets Madame Lyautey and introduces herself as the young p rincess, the legitimate daughter of the Sultan. In an interesting reversal that is apparent in all of the harems that Wharton visits, the less decorated girl or woman is of highe r status. Wharton notices the so di ief exchange of compliments, the daughter dicate that she is perhaps unhappy in her role, that she is more aware of her marginalized status. Perhaps she is more educated than the other young women in the harem, or at least better informed of life outside the isolated compartment. Holding a conver sation is tedious because of the language barrier, and Wharton and her (176) and look out at the o West ern women, Wharton and her friends have a different relationship to the public, and they are able to look past the colored glass and see the world as it is. Wharton watches another processi on of the Sultan and his retinue below, an interesting scene in that Wharton, a female, acts as surveyor of the Sultan from above. The image invokes a reversal: the harem is conventionally a place where females are looked upon as objects, and yet for Whar ton it serves as a site in which she can look upon men. She is in the position of power of seeing while the Sultan is the surveyed. Wharton usurps the role of


88 the tra as a West ern woman looking down on the Sultan of Morocco. 58 Upon hearing some excitement, Wharton leaves the window and returns to the harem. An is admitted into the room. Thi her headdress of striped gauze like a fascinates ved and intrigued it would be for great purpose and for ends she believed in: the depth of her soul had air and daylight in it, and she would never willingly shut them out (178). Wharton contrasts the intrigue intelligenc e and ability of Moroccan women; she condemns instead the cultural and gender norms that curtail the education of women. Of course, West ern society during this period placed its own set of restrictions on the education of women. ( 180) comes when the Sultan makes an unexpected appearance in the harem an event which turns out to be quite anticlimatic The Sultan does not impress Wharton, and she is sarcastic in her treatment of him. She playfully t Byzantine ritual the Anointed One fresh from the exercise of his priestly 180), implying the absurdity of several young and beautiful women doting on a single man. idea that a man might own females as he might chattel 58 See Mary L ouise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London: Routledge, 1992), 201 221.


89 Wharton calls attention to the physicality of the Sultan as a means of bringing him down to earth and depicting him apart from the extravagant persona of the Sultan. In reality the Sultan is merely a lly simple son trailing behind. The closing of this section is absurd and humorous. His Majesty, Moulay Youssef, walks his sacred lip (181). Again, Wharton subtly dispels the glamour of the Sultan by painting him as an ordinary and even unsightly older man, and shatters the mystique of the harem by depicting the young women as confined and uninformed. Polygamy and fem ale subordination are drained of their glamour. I V : In Old Rabat we see oppositional forces at work that discourse. Wharton expresses her concern with unregulated I mpe rialist intervention, draws parallels between gendered aspects of West ern s o ciety and Morocco, and imagines herself as a silent member of the harem. Of course, indignity with tram lines, and pass between hotel terraces and cafes and cinema palaces, to reach the surviving nucleus of the once beautiful native town. She delights in the parts of t he city that are (182). imperialist nostalgia 59 it is more difficult to disregard her conversations with the women in the harem. 59 See Rosaldo, Culture and Truth 68 87.


90 In Old Rabat phrasing of invitations and greeti ngs. For example, when the Moroccan dignitary invites the Madame Lyautey and her friends to tea, he adds a side note indicating that the ladies of the house will be glad to receive them. The official will not be entertaining the ladies himself, as that wou ld be socially unacceptable The house of the official is modest, but possesses a spectacular terrace roofs of the native town, with palms and minarets shooting up between them, or the shadows of the vine the exterior world makes the imprisonment of the women inside all the more startling. The brother in law of the host welcomes Wharton an d her friends, and soon indicates his role as overseer of all communication between the American and Moroccan women. As Wharton anticipates, the hosts disappears with the men of the party after a brief series of introductions, leaving a haired g irl, dressed in Arab costume, but of evidently of European b (184) to interpret, although her role is quickly usurped by the brother in law. The wife and daughters enter the room to entertain the guests, all dressed in simple and ng The mistress of the house is an Algerian of women before her and that of a ngli sh or American University town: Wharton notices that there is no apparent difference between the Moroccan women and their West ern counterparts, save slight varia tions in d ress, thus encouraging reader s to loosen expec tations and relax stereotypes. Despite their amiability and comportment, Wharton discerns


91 (184) in the faces of the women, as if they are not accustomed to thinking seriously or holding mean ingful conversation. Determined to imbue the women with voices, Wharton attempts to derive meaning from the expression of their eyes. As noted earlier, she reads the eyes the young narrative in which she is left without the support of her West ern acquaintances, and a fascinating exchange ensue s with the brother in law acting as translator: Had I any children? (They asked it all at once.) Alas, no. is I replied that in the West ern world also childless women were pitied. The choice among the Moroccan women to ask first if Wharton is a mother reveals their value system, but it also illuminates the similarities between West ern and eastern cultures. Both expect women to be mothers and p ity those women who do not choose motherhood or who are unable to bear children. Wharton makes no attempt to downplay her childlessness, and she bravely querying the women about their thoughts on stiff tailor (185). The brother in law responds to Wharton in the affirmative. e ladies ever have the desire to travel or visit the Bazaars, as the Turkish ladies do. The brother in law responds


92 e explains that in this country, women of the highest class devote themselves to their household and to raising their children (any extra time is spent on needlework). It is important to call attention to the role that the brother in law plays in mediating, and thus monitoring, the interaction between Wharton and her friends and the women in the harem. The gender dynamic at play is fascinating. As a West ern woman, Wharton is able to speak, but the women of the harem are not able to respond, at least not directly. W harton is aware of the power imbalance caused by the constant intervention of the brother in law. In an attempt to facilitate unmediated communication, Wharton tur who (186). She asks the girl in French about her mother, but owing to nervousness or lack of language skills, the girl can only speak a few words. Wharton remarks on the disjunction between the European app e arance of the young interpretor and her timorous demeanor and Whart problematic in that she implicates all of Islam in suffocating women, thus reifying stere otypes of eastern backwardness while ignoring the subjugation of women across cultures. Wharton does not always distinguish between eastern an d West e rn women. In multiple instances she emphasizes similarities between American women including herself, and Moroccan women, thus avoiding the Orientalist tendency to pit east against West (and the implication that the former is exotic and backward and the l atter is normal and civilized). Wharton emphasizes the peculiar circumstances of patriarchy and isolation that contribute to the


93 ignorance o f the Moroccan women. She portrays the Moroccan women as uneducated and trapped, comparing them to caged birds, but incapable. They are not unintelligent and incompetent; they are exploited and silenced. In the closing scene of this section, Wharton, now infuriated by the watchful brother in law, feels her for a moment, in the same position as the ladies of the Harem. Wharton delights at the return of her friends, who swoop in just in time to alleviate her grow ing feeli ng of powerlessness, a sensation familiar to women in both the east and the West V. In Fez In the opening to this section, Wharton reflects on her experiences visiting the harems thus far. As her impressions begin coalescing, they take on a new significa nce in her mind and her sensitivity to the experience of the Moroccan women is heightened. Unable to communicate go on under the narrow veiled brows of the li ttle creatures destined to the high honour of (187). Wharton is being ironic, since she obviously views concubinage as blig She strays from the strict course of her narrative for a few pages and indulges her imagination. She thinks about the diverse origins of the women forced into concubinage, hailing from rural and urban environments and from a range of class backgrounds. She imagines that cedar forests, from the free life of the tents where Atlas, where blue palm magnificent and airy pa


94 (188) and transporte d like slaves to their master. The fate is worst of all for the first group of women, those hailing from the mountains who have experienced the freedom of the open air and the beauty and power of nature. Wharton dispels mystique of the harem and humanizes the women therein by g iving them sferred to the painted sepulchre human property. Wharton is obviously disturbed by th e concept of young women trapped and palaces. The sarcasm that marks first experience of the Imperial harem is replaced here by an undertone of sadness, anger and even despair. She reasons tha t perhaps it is for the best that these women rarely receive visito rs, murmurs through oli v e Wharton i s invited to yet another harem in the home of one of the chief dignitaries of the Makhzen at Fez. The description of the harem is reminiscent of a catacomb, perhaps in part for dramatic effect. teep tunneled all signs of outside life are cut off. The masonry closes in as Wharton gets closer to the inner terranean labyrinth which sun and air never description incites claustrophobia and panic. It is impossible to gauge direction or to locate an exit route. The ve ry architecture seems to be a metaphor for the fate of the women confined to the harem.


95 French and is thus prepared to speak with visitors. Wharton and her companions are in troduced rton describes the languor that seems to have infected all of the inmates of the household, a s well as the servants and hangers on. The only individuals who seem not to have eaten of lotus flowers are a group of three young black women a variety of tasks. Wh ely daughters in law, and concubines. Wharton takes this opportunity to dispel any misconceptions cism, and seduction in the West ern world. Wharton insists based on her visits to several harems, that the Moroccan harem is rarely a place of sexua l seduction. For example, she portrays this particular harem as a Wh arton is struck by the somber dcor and the sober style of dress among the women, but she is most concerned by the apathy of the young women. They are completely disconnected fro m ased on slave


96 shake their heads or nod. They have no occupation and are not even accustomed to cooking, household arts, or playing with their children. Wharton desc authority, himself almost as inert and sedentary as his women, and accustomed to impose his There that is the love and tenderness that parents show to their children. But Wharton is cautious even idealize these (194). Education consists solely of learning la rge portions of the Koran by memorization, and it is cut short by the early marriage at the age of eight or nine. critique of Moroccan society, particularly the upper classes, emphasizes the relationship between limited education, precocious sexu al activity, and oppressive patriarchal norms. Children are denied the information or skills to effectively challenge the system, and they drift early into a life of languor and stagnancy. In the final paragraphs of this section, Wharton shifts from an e xplanation of Moroccan society to a powerful series of images. Wharton and her companions return to their host, who is still resting with contentment on his cushion, when a handsome man of about thirty years old, (195), enters the room. The host introduces the individual as his oldest son and husband to several of the women in the harem. Next, the a tiny boy, r


97 o school age brothers, returning from studying the Koran, follow close behind. The scene is one of great tenderness and yet there is something peculiar about it: All the sons greeted each other affectionately, and caressed with almost feminine tenderness t he dancing baby so lately added to their ranks; and finally, to crown this scene of domest ic intimacy, the three [black slaves] their gigantic effort at last and white sugar cakes. (196) family, there are no females present in this loving exchange. There is apparently no place for women among the ranks of the men, especially since f emale servants can attend to the traditionally female duties. There is nothing natural about the absence of women in this scene, the mothers and wives that brought life into being. The hierarchy between patriarch and servant, and between the grown women an d the children is also unnatural. If this is a scene of domestic bliss, then it is one predicated on p atriarchal privilege and power that virtually erases women from the scene. VI. In Marrakech analysis, as well as her race consciousness becomes increasingly pronounced as this chapter continues. From the beginning of the chapter, Wharton is conscious of the presence of African slaves and describes their appearance, comportment, and duties, but she does not attempt to unpack the role of sl avery in Morocco. She pushes further in this section in the har ems is policed to a severe degree. The only harem in which Wharton and her companions have the benefit of an interpreter is that of the Sultan himself. In all the others, they are forced to trust the translation of a French speaking relative. In this secti on, Wharton visits


98 (197) palaces in Marrackech, home to the Cad (a French term meaning The women are met at the door by the chamberlain to the Cad, who guides them through a the intricate mosaic loyal friend of beaked man, brown, lean and patriarchs that Wharton encounters and he is further distinguished by an impressive military background impression of the Cad is greatly diminished after she observes his interaction with the slaves in his household. Wharton is particularly distressed by a tiny African child, only six or seven years old, who stands motionless awaiting his every need: Like most of the Moroccan slaves, even in the greatest households, she was shabbily dressed. A dirty gandourah of striped muslin covered her faded caftan and a cheap kerchief was wound above her grave and precocious little face. W ith preternatural vigilance she watched each movement of the Cad, who never spoke to her, looked at her, or made her the slightest perceptible sign, but whose least wish she instantly divined, refilling his tea cup, passing the plates of sweets, or removi ng our empty glasses, in obedience to some secret telegraphy on which her whole being hung. (200) Just as she does with the women in the harem, Wharton insists on the humanity of this young girl by trying to read her expression, commenting on her behaviors and admiring her abilities. The little girl is graceful, intelligent, and perceptive. She moves like a phantom, or perhaps even an angel, performing her duties with the utmost precision. While the Cad might initially appear distinct from other Moroccan men he is still prone to the kind of thinking that enables and condones slavery.


99 200) because he does not view her as a dynamic human being with real emotions. Wharton condemns the Mahometan and the West e thus indicating her colonialist prejudices even while she advocates for abolitionism. Her abolitionism, like he r feminism, is well intentioned but delimited is ultimately andocentric .her attention returns to Orie 60 Wharton rarely alludes to the West erners in her company, but she is only able to gain entry into the harem of the Cad because she is in the company of her fri ends Captain de S. and his wife. her entry into each of the harems in the narrative is enabled by her affiliation with others, namely powerful men. Even as a well known West gender limits her clout and contribute s to her reliance on others. An African slave woman in tattered garments invites M divans and white palaces, such as this one, the The ladies of harem are elabo rately dressed like their faces are more European in appearance. Wharton learns that most of them were brought up in an environment of relative freedom a nd happiness in Constantinople, and their fond memories of ha ppier times shine in The women are welcoming and candid with the visitors, eagerly showing faded provincial looking women in dowdy European ball attractive in the old photograph than they do in the luxurious dress of the harem, and yet they are 60

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100 proud of the picture and of their former freedom. They delight in their memories of the pas t. harem and in all of the harems that she has visited. She claims that it is nearly impossible to s so kind and free. While this observation might be idealized it indicates the survival strate gies of women within the harem while breaking down stereotypes of hostility and competition among Concubines in the mythologized eastern harem. The closing scen One of th e women in the harem asks Madame de S. about her children, and she in turn inquires child usual fashion, Wharton focuses on the eyes of the child, perhaps t rying to read his mind. She for the rest of his life. Would all h is pretty mothers, his eyes seemed to ask, succeed in bringing him to maturity in spite of the parched summers of the south and the stifling existence of the harem? It was evidence that no precaution had been neglected to protect him from maleficent influ ences and the danger that walks by night, for his frail neck was hung with innumerable charms .Perhaps they would ward off the powers of evil, and let him grow up to the shoulder the burden of the great Cads of the south. (205) The society that places all its attention on men, that caters to th em and bedecks them with jewels from their early infancy, is not healthy for men or women. Unfortunately, Wharton fails to take her observations one step further and recognize that West ern society also stifles wo men and gratifies boys and men.

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101 CHAPTER 5 WILLA CATHER: THE FE MINIZED TRAMP ABROAD AND THE REVAMPED EUROPEAN TOUR Introduction Like Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, born in 1873, achieved great commercial and critical success as a wr iter during her lifetime a nd was awarded a number of prestigious literary awards in recognition of her contribution to American literature. She earned the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for her novel One of Ours and The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded her the Howells Medal in 1930 for her novel Death Becomes the Archbishop. In 1944, the National 1 Cather is secure in h er place as a major American writer of the twentieth century 2 as an author who is widely read .regularly 3 popularity has been steadily on the rise since the late twentieth century, in large part because of her treatment of gender and sexuality and its appeal to contemporar y scholars. Beginning n the have prod 4 Many scholars today place Cather fi rmly in the canon of American literature, but her popularity and reputation fluctuated greatly over the course of her career and in the years since 1 Phyllis C. Robinson, Willa: The Life of Willa Cath er ( New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1983), 1. 2 Willa Cather and the Contemporary Reviews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. xvii. 3 Marilee Lindemann, preface to The Cambridge Companion to Willa Cath er ( Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 1. 4 Lindemann preface, 3.

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102 her death in 1947 Like Fuller and Wharton, Cather has been lost, reinvented, and resurrected many times by literary scholars time she was subject to scathing conscious attempt of reviewers, critics, and academics to create an American literary c 5 equal 6 I will explore this idea further in terms of the marginalization scholars have neglected much of the journalistic work that defined her early career and they have virtually ignored her travel writing. Jour nalism, mobility, and art were importantly linked in leave Nebraska and travel to Pittsburgh and New York, among other places. It also provided her with th e social connections and financial means to make her first trip across the Atlantic and prompted her to record her observations as a professional writer. Travel is also one of the few pastimes that Cather pursued both as a journalist and as a professional writer West periodically to renew ties with family, friends, and land, yet she never lingered long. [she] doubled restless back and forth across the continent, spending part of the summer in Nebraska and then escaping to Pittsburgh, New York, New Hampshire, or her island retreat on 5 American Quarterly 40.1 (Mar., 1988): 111. 6 110.

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103 Great Manan, New Brunswick to translate reawakened emotions and remembered impressions 7 8 perhaps because she began h er life as a professional writer when she left her family home and went away to University. As we will see, Willa Cather in Europe is significant for a number of reasons. It serves as a biographical resource, il s understanding of what it meant to be an American abroad, and most importantly, offers insight into her early understanding of gender identity, especially as it intersects with nation ality culture, and class. The material within the letters is relevant t her gradual shift from journalistic to novelistic writing. The letters also provide richly gendered herself as an American woman traveling abroad. travel writing represents an untapped resource. Unlike other writers, such as Mark Twain and directing her executors to refuse radio, film, and dramatic adaptations of her fiction and 9 She was particularly steadfast at obscuring her hy apprenticeship as journalist, high school teacher, and managing editor of an invaluable biographical resource 7 Sharon Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 59. 8 Janis P. Stout, Willa Cather: The Writer and Her World (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000), 136. 9 The Emerging Voice 3.

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104 Cather embarks on the traditi well aware of the sights that she is expected to see, the reactions that she is supposed to have, and the language that she is supposed to use w hen recording her impressions. But Cather does not engage in the kind of blind veneration of Euro pe that one might expect from an aspiring female writer. She acknowledges her gender difference and her class location and is determined to transgress social expectations at every stop along the way. In her theoretically driven biography of Cather, Stout p osits Cather as pervasive cultural assumptions regarding ethnicity and American pluralism, including issues of 10 11 Hers i s at once at narrative of the European tour and a transgressive and volatile text that This chapter will focus on Willa Cather in Europe a collection of fourteen articles that Willa Cather compose d while touring Europe with her friend Isabelle McClung in 1902. She sent the letters back home, where they were published in the Nebraska State Journal At the time of her first journey abroad, Cather was a relatively well established journalistic and dra ma critic, but she had yet to embark on her career as a novel writer. The letters were published, posthumously, as a heavily annotated book in 1956. Biography The daughter of Charles and Mary Virginia Cather, Wilella Cather was born in her use in Back Creek Valley, Virginia on December 7, 1873. The eldest of the 10 Stout, The Writer and her World, xii. 11 Ibid., xii.

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105 12 Cather was born a southerner at a time of great turmoil and change, less than a decade after the knit structure of an exten 13 since her literary identity is so intricately bound with images of the West ern prairie. r and father was somewhat notable in that Virginia Cather served as the authoritarian and disciplinarian in th willed, imperious woman who overshadowed her gentle, more easy 14 Cather 15 at once harsh and sympathetic, staunch and yet ladylike authority in the private realm of the home did not extend to the public realm, in which she was her rebelli ous teen years and her college years as a self professed along well with her father. Cather shared a remarkably close relationship with Charles Cather a 16 He was college. complexity and artificiality of gender construction and illuminated the poss ibility of fluid and flexible gender 12 James L. Woodress, Willa Cather: A Literary Life (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989) 21. 13 Stout, The Writer and Her World 3. 14 The Emerging Voice 40. 15 Ibid., 40. 16 Ibid., 15.

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106 roles. 17 18 althoug h more for their good name than for their wealth. Or iginally from Wales, the Cather s immigrated to Virginia in colonial times and made their livi s childhood home was a beautiful three story house sturdy brick faade pierced by large, evenly spaced single 19 Cather thus passed the first nine 20 despite the so cial turmoil that pervaded the S out ambivalent feelings toward the S outh. In her fiction and letters, Cather expresses admiration as well as aversion to the South. and moved Webster County, located in south eastern Nebraska. The family lived first on an isolated farm and Charles Cather attempted to continue his work in the family business of farming. The Cather family relocated only eighteen months later, for reasons not entirely known, to Red Cloud, a vibrant and thriving frontier town. Biographers suggest that Virginia Cather and her children were perhaps eager to escape 21 Charles Cather opened an insur ance office in Red Cloud, but 17 Ibid., 16. 18 Ibid., 12. 19 James L. Woodress, Willa Cather; Her Life and Art (New York: Pegasus, 1970), 23. 20 E. K. Brown and Leon Edel, Willa Cather: A Critical Biography (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987), 18. 21 The Emerging Voice 61.

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107 22 Like Margaret Fuller, Cather would have to work as a young adult in order to pursue her ambitions and likely to contribute to her family. At the age of nine Cather was introduced to an entirel y new world. The move from the South to the West was extremely traumatic for Cather, who later confided to a colleague at 23 24 This move marked an entry into new territory for Cather 25 and her sense of dislocation and adjustment crops up frequently in her wr iting. 26 a notion that a string of Cather biographers have evoked. d marked a perhaps equally drastic change of scenery and custom, and yet biographers pay little development as an artist, and that it is not coincidence that upon her 27 28 and to embrace s a lively and rebellious one. During her seven years living at home in Red Cloud between the age of eleven 22 Robi nson, The Life of Willa Cather 24. 23 The Emerging Voice 61. 24 Lindemann, preface, 5. 25 The Emerging Voice 61. 26 Stout, The Writer and Her World 26. 27 Robinson, The Life of Willa Cather 116. 28 Lindemann, introduction, 5.

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108 29 but her rebellion was grounded in her non traditional view of the world and she carried her alternative attitudes with her throughout described as more appropriate for m ales or perhaps even unavailable to females, and she adjusted her interests and self 30 Cather enjoyed wearing her hair short and dressing in a boyish manner, a trend that she would continue during her first few years as a college student. 31 Cather moved on to the University of Nebraska where she was able to challenge gender stereotypes in more drastic ways and provoke controversy as a New Wom an. Cather was determined to attend college, despite the social and financial constraints that made such a choice controversial. Cather was among the first generation of college educated women in the United States to attend public, coeducational instituti ons, where women were availed the same educational opportunities as men. Journalistic Career Cather was still a student at the University of Nebraska when she initiated her career as a professional journalist. She began work for the Nebraska State Journal during her junior year in Cather was also the Journal admiring actresses Willa was ready with opinions on every conceivable subject, and she entered 29 Stout, The Writer and Her World 15 30 Ibid., 15. 31 Ibid., 27.

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109 32 In her final two semesters of college, between Septem 33 as much as a full time reviewer. Mark Twain or even Edith Wharton, despite their rich content and poetic style. Remarkably, Cather is rarely remembered for her extensive career as a newspaper and magazine writer. 34 After graduation from the University of Nebraska in 1895, Cather returned home with high hope 35 continuing her work for the newspaper but also pursuing creative writing on her own. Unfortunately, Cather did not find Red Cloud, or Lincoln for that matter, conducive to realizing her literary ambi time at home made her restless and she was consequently unproductive and eager for a permanent change of scenery. By 1896, only a year after graduating, Cather relocated to Pittsburgh to pursue a career in magazine journalism. In June of that year she bega n work as an editor of Home Monthly a wome magazine. She also began working as a drama critic for the Pittsburgh Leader which would continue to employ her in various capacities until her resignation from the newspaper in 1899. By the turn of the twent ieth century, Cather had carved out a successful niche for herself as a 32 Robinson, The Life of Willa Cather 55. 33 Ibid., 66. 34 Woodress, A Literary Life 89, explains that when Cather died in 1947 the public was virtually unaware of her extensive career as a newspaper an d magazine writer. He attributes this silence in 35 Robinson, The Life of Willa Cather 70.

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110 36 and she was about to embark on her first trip abroad. first tour of Europe must be understo od in the context of her journalistic career and demonstrated skills as a critic and writer. But we must also bear in mind her traveling companion, socialite and patron of the arts Isabella McClung When she was first introduced to Isabella McClung in the last year s of the nineteenth century, Cather 37 reputation as a drama critic for the Pittsburgh Leader and the two became fast friends It was upon the advice of McClung that Cather resigned from the Leader in 1901 and began teaching in the spring of 1901. She also moved into the McClung household in 1901, and the two women departed for Europe together in 1902. In fulfillment of her agre ement with the Nebraska State Journal Cather kept a journal and wrote about her experience abroad in travel articles that were sent back to American for publication. Travel Writing demarcating the transition from journalistic to creative writing and prefiguring the role that women and gender issues would play in her novels Like her contemporary Edith Wharton, Cather initiated her career as a writer of novels relatively late in her l ife. She was always writing as a child writing stories, as a journalist in college, and as a professional journalist in her twenties and thirties but she did not publish her first novel until she was thirty eight years old. 38 writing represents an important part of her journalistic career, prior to her pursuits as a creative writer. Cather constantly incorporates themes of travel and mobility in her fiction. She imagines 36 Woodress, A Literary Life 111. 37 Robinson, The Life of Willa Cather 4. 38 Woodress, A Literary Li fe xvi.

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111 39 Travel is served a fundamental creative outlet. Format, Mediation, Style and Tone Willa Cather in Europe: Her Own Story of the First Journey is a compilati on of chronological articles dated July 1, 1902 through September 6, 1092, which Cather wrote while in Europe and s ent back to the United States. They were collected and published posthumously, but scholars have paid them little critical attention and bio graphers of Cather have mentioned them only briefly. Editor and historian George N. Kates acts as mediator of Willa Cather in Europe As editor and compiler of Willa Cather in Europe Kates attempts to appropriate the text by way of exces sive annotation incidental writing so as to guide the The introduction serves as an extended d 40 The purpose of the introduction seems to be threefold: first, to alert the reader to the imperfections of the text; sec ond, to indicate the value of 39 Lindemann, introduction, 8. 40 George N. Kates, preface to Willa Cather in Europe: Her Own Story of the First Journey (New York: Knopf, 1956), v Further references will be followed by page numbers in parentheses).

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112 text for the first time. He provides too much detail in his prefaces to each of the letters, often on determining the me aning of each of the letters for the reader, leaving little room for gendered or class conscious analysis. Finally, he acts as stylistic critic, assessing the quality of the writing and praising or criticizing it as he sees fit. Kates presents Cather as a bred doe s not view her as a literary artist. Kates still envisions Cather, age 28 as a novice writer with (vi). Such a viewpoint overlooks achievements and remarkable career in journalism as a writer and drama critic. It minimizes the value of her travel writing, and treats it as non literary. In contrast to Kates, I will posit Cather as a skilled thinker and writer at the time of her travels abroad, eager to learn new things and discard old assumptio ns when appropriate, but already extremely knowledgeable on a diverse range of subjects and skilled as a journalist, critic, and literary artist. Cather may not have been a 41 and her tone is frequently nostalgic and poetic. She is blatantly honest, to t he point of perhaps causing offense. In the opening pages of the first letter, she nate She is also comical and often uses humor, as Wharton does, as a way of 41 Robinson, The Life of Willa Cather 114.

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113 broaching difficult subjects such as class and gender. For exa mple, there is a hilarious scene on the train from Paris to Avignon in which a lower on an unprepared Cather. The articles merit attention from historians and literary critics, particularly those interested in gender in terms of several recurring and overlapping concepts: nation and national identity; the time honored tradition of the European tour; and finally, social class and its wide ranging analyses. For example, writer colors her experience abroad, and she holds strong opinions regarding t he ways in which national identity intersect s with both gender and class. Fu r thermore, as a literary artist touring the monuments of Eu rope, Cather is partaking of her own version of the Grand tour. But through her poetic observations and digressions, her nontrad itional historical accounts, and her interest in common people and simple dwelling s over impressive structures and historical figures, Cather perpetually challenges and undermines the traditional structure of the European tour. I will group my analy ses according to these emerging themes. There is much overlap: for identity, and of course gender is relevant to both of these issues. The first theme that I will look at is nation and national identity and its intersection with gender. In several of the articles, Cather positions herself as an American in contrast to the Europeans that she encounters, and she uses this structure of opposition to differentiate betwe en the American female and the European female.

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114 Nation and National Identity The first article in Willa Cather in Europe is dated July 1, 1902 and y is celebrating the coronation of Edward VII, but news of his illness had put a damper on the 42 She is overwhelmed by the extravagant shadow in the air that did not belong nothing of the smartness and neatness and tri particularly critical of the English girls and women of the middle class, who stand with their home concocted silks and that she determines based on characteristics such as honesty, hard work, good hygiene that transcend socioeconomic circumstances. Later in the article, Cather describes her experience attending a dinner for the poor at St. alled at seeing old men and women so sick and hungry and convinced 42 Willa Cather, Willa Cather in Europe: Her Own Story of the First Journey (New York: Knopf, 1956), 5. Further references will be followed by page numbers in parentheses

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115 is particularly concerned by a number of older, unmarried women who are shut out of the dinn er and left to sit on the steps in desperation. The ambivalence apparent in this first letter is a tendency to condemn poverty, for example, but then to distinguish among the deserving poor and t he undeserving poor. This is perhaps problematic, as it places Cather in the role of judge, but she nonetheless refrains from making overarching statements about particular class groups or nationalities. And as we will see in later articles when she visits several villages in Provence, Cather immerses he rself in the local culture and resides among the working poor. Cather alludes to American society in almost every one of her articles. She is able to processes the new culture and environment that she is ex periencing by comparing it with what manners and customs of a new country into the terms of his own, before he can fully ing in order to comprehend is particularl y analyses, as we will see. Cather has a specific and positive conception of American identity, one that is inextricably bound with her understanding of gender in America. We learn more articles and witness her questioning and restructuring her conceptions, such as in her article at seeing the shores of France for the first time is palpable. We witness

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116 of gloom to one of joy Above the roar of the wind and the thrash of the w ater I heard the babble of voices, fire and a fervour that was in itself a panegyric. Far to the south there shone a little star of light out of the blackness, that burned f rom orange to yellow and then back to orange again; the first light of the coast of France. All the prone, dispirited figures we left two hours before were erect and animated, rhetorical and jubilant they clutched and greeted each other indiscriminat ely, for it was the hour when all distinctions were obliterated and when the bond of brotherhood drew sweet and hard. (94) The suspense of this passage is bolstered by the vivid imagery, riveting word choice, and nationalistic sentiment. Cather writes as a novelist and the reader feels herself immersed in the scene as it springs to life. This passage provides further insight regarding the meaning of association between America and certain positive traits, including a willingness to work hard, cleanliness, and a strong moral inclination. Cather perceives similarities between American and French identities, in that both countries stress hard work and aesthetic neatness acr oss social Europe, but more likely because she feels more comfortable in France. Her initial experience of the country is distinct from that of England. Arriving in Dieppe, Cather is impressed by the railway despite their age and obvi

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117 Grand Tour The European tour o r Grand tour served as the capstone to the classical education of privileged white men, usually from West ern societies, and was also a common pastime for esteemed writers and artists looking for material and inspiration. As an educated American, knowledgea ble in history, art, and literature, Cather is a West ern scholar embarking on a tour of first trip to Europe, but she recognizes that she is walking on char ted territory and that most of those who have come before her were male. As a woman hesitant to follow tradition for its own sake and always eager to defy convention, Cather is hesitant to embrace Europe, particularly England. She is skeptical of the histo ricity of Europe and makes clear that she will see for herself, make her own assessments, and report back honestly as an American journalist. miles from Chester to Hawarden Castle, once home to Mr. Gladstone. She is more enamored by his torical accounts of various sites around her, but such sites serve merely as jumping boards for mentions Isabella McClung by name) come upon the famous Norman Tower, they plop down not to the past, but to the present and the possib ilities of the future.

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118 Shropshire, dated July 11, 1902, Cather continues being the non he is charting her own path and exploring an area of the country virtually never visited by foreigners. This article represents one of several instances in not follower, and she develops her agenda based on personal, not popular and historical, interests. Her eagerness to see Shropshire derives from her attachment to the poet A. E. Housman, who had yet to achieve great fame at this point. Cather momentarily laps es into the future success. Cather moves on to Ludlow, des cribing the scenery with stunning artistry: High green hills rise to the north and West all marked off into tiny pocket handkerchief fields bordered by green hedgerows and looking like the beds of a large hillside garden. To the south lies the valley of the Teme, with low, round hills on either side, none of them wood covered .There are no naked, straggling clay banks; the river does not flow through the bottom of a ravine, but on a level with the fields, like a canal, and it runs deep and green and c lear quiet under its arched stone bridges. (29) Cather is a master surveyor of her environment, and her surroundings seem to play a vital role in travel writing, for capturing her dynamic experience whole and presenting it as a novelist might. vibrant personality. Willa Cather in Europe is remarkable for its content, but it is also significant as a work of artistry. spends the night at the Feathers Hotel, remarkable for its black oak interior as well as the huge

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119 beams than span the ceiling and i ts windows with tiny diamond panes. Despite its age, Cather t as one might a historical monument or a famous painting. Cather ends her article with a history es and the material is so riveting that it sounds more like fiction than fact. She relates a scene in which the princess of Ludlow her choice to include this stor y, and yet somehow its abruptness mimics the random and fleeting impressions that one enjoys while traveling in new lands. The story is like another unfamiliar but beautiful mark on the landscape. Cather is re envisioning history and the landscape, and re inventing the Grand tour. Even when Cather shifts her attention to seemingly traditional and non controversial themes, such as pre Raphaelite art, she still provokes the reader to think about uncomfortable issues, such as the relationship between class an Burne homage that aspiring artists pay to their traditionally masculine forefathers. Unbeknownst to most readers, the content of this article, in which Cather visits the studio of a well known artist, 43 The article begins with Cather moving from Trafalgar Square West ward through St. 43 Robinson, The Life of Willa Cather 109.

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120 laden towns to a splendid grey about the National Gallery and St. M artin in the against a garden wall that she finds the studio of Sir Edward Burne Jones. The house is no long er occupied, as Burne Jones is apparently deceased and his wife has located, but still gains entrance is post. Cather offers the reader a detailed account of her private tour of the studio, but her attention is devoted primarily to James, who m with diminutive mutton chops and a keen grey eye, a very typical ordinary article is that James, the lively and colorful vale 44 According to Phyllis Robinson, Burne Jones never had a valet and the studio was It is significant that Cather would choose to imbue a fictional character with an simple, good natured common man, who adopts the authority usually displayed by the master. (77) lovers of fine art, who are willing to believe anything about a painting and to see the artist as a mythic figure. Cather transgresses further by challenging the traditional dynamic of the European tour in which the tourist, student, or intellectual, passively absorbs historical facts and 44 Ibid., 109.

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121 the like in order to later regurgitate them as a sign of class status. In this circumstance, an invented character with no claim to talent or class status is narrating the history. C of humor and irony, perhaps derived from her love of the theatre, is subtle but omnipresent. Cather is eager to act as authority, especially when it comes to judging works of art. In her d in Paris on August 8, 1902, Cather interrupts her narrative of travel to review a play. Cather gladly takes up the familiar role of drama critic, and her comfort as artistic authority is apparent. From the first line of the article, her voice is strong a been produced in London for some years which has proved so solid a financial success as Mr. The Merry Wives of Windsor She attributes this success t o two English stage Cather covers a ll of the bases of a seasoned drama critic, transitioning from a discussion of orted, which seems to justify even her sharpest criticisms. Cather finds some difficulty in passing a production is at all to be justified, it is the two merry w leads impress Cather with their talent, particularly Ellen Terry: But the spirit, the dash and gleam of the whole performance emanate from Ellen terry. Neither a dull daughter nor a stolid Falstaff can daunt her. She pl ays as though she were seventeen yesterday; with an elasticity, a lightness, and a relish that might well have captivated even so dull a Falstaff. It is not her grace, her spirited reading, or her bounding step only that she .she seemed the only player

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122 wholly in the atmosphere, the only one who was imbued with the spirit of things Elizabethan. (88) Cather is powerful in her role as drama critic, and she uses that power in this article to illuminate the capabilities of two actresses who have made their m ark in the theatrical world. Cather places Ellen Terry securely in the tradition of English theatre as part of the Elizabethan tradition. She have cast a female in any role. Cather sees in Terry a woman who is remarkable for her Cather continues to find beauty and value in unique places. Not long after her vi sit to the theatre, Cather finds herself roaming the cemeteries of Paris in an article dated August 21, 1902. version of the European tour and that they provid e excellent fodder for social criticism. It is interesting to witness Cather, an aspiring American female author, as she visits the resting places Paris cemet eries is well take great pleasure in visiting a series of famous resting grounds. life the La tins are more socially disposed than we, and the graves in their cemeteries almost very Mathilde, Alfred de Musset, Frdric Chopin, and the monument dedicated to Flix Faure. Her tone is slightly mocking and ironic when she describes the homag e paid by great artists as well

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123 as ordinary citizens to the tombs of great men. She describes how Balzac used to wander in the Pre Lachaise cemetery during his apprenticeship, reading the names of the greats as if he might sponge up their successes for hi mself. Cather expresses no desire to have her name immortalized in stone; she is more attracted to the French custom of naming streets after significant Parisians, In her eleventh a Avignon, displaying her witty sense of humor at several points and reminding the reader that she ple, and her impressions of Avignon illuminate her non Isabella McClung, feel that it is their naturedly, of th their social class and occupation as workers of the land. Despite the malodorous companions, and the crying infant that is (133). Vineyards surround Cather on all sides and many are dotted with the white ruin of som e ancient castle: Everywhere is the glossy green of the fig and the dusty grey of the olive, everywhere the relentless glare of the fervid sun of the Midi. The farmhouses are all low, rambling structures built of cobblestone .all the gardens are hedged with hollycocks and sunflowers .the villages are white clusters of stucco and cobble stone houses with red tiled roofs, with grapevines trained above all the windows .every street is a fine avenue of sycamores. (134) Cather captures the idyllic sc ene of the Midi, still untouched by modernity. Cather pays careful attention to the scenery, particular to gardens, in nearly all of her articles. She is fascinated by the restorative power of nature, and the simplicity of some lifestyles. She enjoys bathi ng in a

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124 washbasin and going to bed by candlelight. She appreciates the magnificent food, and describes her first dinner in Avignon in great detail, praising each of the ten courses and indicating her cities that she visits on her fi rst tour of Europe challenges the conventions of the masculinized European tour. Cather cooperates with tradition by visiting the appropriate historical sites and venues and paying homage to men of letters, artists, poets, and the like, but her attention i s Cather offers the standard guidebook material, but she inevitably twists it around, frames it in a peculiar manner, or juxtaposes it with interesting human m aterial. For example, Cather begins her article on Avignon with a discussion of the natural world and her interaction with locals and fellow visitors, but halfway through she shifts abruptly shifts her attention to the formal history of the region. Cather feels an obligation to fulfill the expectations of her readership, and she does abandoned, Cather closes her article with a tribute to the people of Avignon, who are sublimely h day passes according to the rhythm of the sun, the fluctuation of the temperature, and the intensity of various smells. To Cather, Provence embodies beauty, ritual, and healing. 02, Cather

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125 themes: her unconventional approach to tourism and the European tour; her love and appreciation of the natural world; and her knack for witty and dramatic story telling. She is in The Count of Monte Cristo Upon entering Marseilles, Cather immediately se she is overwhelmed by the power of literature to evoke such strong emotion. She insists that the prison in which a fictional character quite as moving to contemplate, as West minster or Ntre Dame. Again, Cathe r is challenging the traditional value system of the European tour, which values significant building, monuments, and personages over ideas, feelings, and memories. The women travel eastward from Marseilles, through olive country, past fields and fields o role in the environment sums up her impression of Provence: It is such a gracious and humble tree; it struggles so hard and patiently against circumstances th e most adverse, and yet, like the people who love it, manages always to preserve in its contour, no matter how stony the soil, or how heavy the white dust hangs on its leaves, something of grace and beauty. (146) This description could also be applied to t he people of Provence, as we will see in the next two and skille d arrangement. Cather immerses herself in her environment and seeks to understand the culture and traditions of the natives of Provence.

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126 Entering Lavandou in one of her last articles, dated September 10, 1902, Cather is once again eager to stray from the conventional tour abroad. She and Isabella decide to visit Lavandou, primarily because they cannot find anyone who has been there and because Parisians hundred inhabitants (hardly a tourist destination), situated on a bay on the Mediterranean. The like homes are built of mud and stone and scattered along the beach. There is a single caf and a single hotel, at which Cather and her friend sleep. Dur tiled roof and a little stone porch, is nestled amidst amidst a sea of pines. It is the s tudio of a painter during the winter, rug if the sea breez e blows strong, and to do nothing for hours together but stare at this great water that seems to trail its delft neighbouring princes and goat to pasture, an old man who sells figs, a lonely Parisian in exile, and a women who sells lobsters. Cather and Isabella leave the village one day for a day trip six miles down the c oast, but however homely, is a fte, and the menu finer readi

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127 Cather is impressed by the food nd the fine little especially sin c e the environment is not conducive to bountiful harvests. She admires the work ethic and good nature of the natives, who are severely inging -work and modesty, committed to family, and enraptured by the beauty of nature, should feel particularly attached to this location. Out of every wandering in which people and pl aces come and go in long successions, there is always one place remembered above the rest because the external or internal conditions were such that they most nearly produced happiness. I am sure that for me that place will always be Lavandou .I am sur e I do not know why a wretched little fishing village, with nothing but green pines and blue sea and a sky of porcelain, should mean more than a dozen places that I have wanted to see all my life .One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by change, in a lucky hour, at the Of course, Cather does know why she should be attracted to this villa ge. It brings her closest to nature, to people, and to solitude. It is not a coincidence that Lavandou is a reminiscent of the world. Class and the Common People he lower and working class pervades virtu all y all of her travel writing. She has an enduring respect for hard working people with limited financial resources and for individuals who delight in simple things, like food and family, and who express no desire for the luxuries and extravagances of modernity and wealth. s admiration extends past that of the conventional tourist in that she immerses herself in the villages that she visits and

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128 seeks to live as the locals do. She does not attempt to set herse lf apart from the locals, to exercise power over them or to impress them multi faceted and inevita bly bound up with national, cultural, and gender location as well as her physical location. My reading of Cather will em phasize her willingness to contemplate, challenge, and transcen d class boundaries, even as s he acknowledges their persistence and significance. Cather is exposed While it is not likely that Cather herself viewed class as entirely constructed, her narrative indicates that she does not always see it as absolute. She seems to recognize that class, like gender, flu ctuates in different contexts. From the beginning of her narrat ive Cather focuses her attention on the common working class people and their way of life. In the second article, dated July 1, 1902, Cather visits Chester s ummer place of the Duke of West minster, she is most attracted to the humble homes that are ings of the common people they are quaint red brick houses, the majority of the m very old, with diamond window panes and high modest homes. describing the canals of England, written in July of 1902, is perhaps the single most significant letter in this compilation in terms of its richly gendered and class conscious content. In her riveting description of the largest canal in England, Cather ex plains that in En largely takes the place of the freight car, affording a circuitous

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129 this letter: American identity abroad; technological in novation and its role in enabling movement and national progress; the fluidity of gender roles across cultures ; and finally, class identity, particularly working class identity. Each of these interrelated concepts mimics the overarching themes present in W illa Cather in Europe and each illuminates the specific context in which Cather was acting as a female travel writer. Cather was writing at a time of great change and flux in terms of technology, international travel, gender ideologies, and social and clas s affiliation. Her experience abroad enabled her to perceive the ways in which different cultural groups express gender expectations, as we will see in her observations of the canal people, thus illuminating the fluidity of gender across social, economic, and cultural lines. Cather begins with a logistical description of the canal, which runs from Liverpool to London, and from the Liverpool harbor to Chester, Shrewsbery, Birmingham, and southeast back to London. The canal is owned by several companies and consequently called by several names. The canal is winding and easy to lose track of since it is only thirty feet across at its widest point. Cather is immediately interested in the differences between the great canal and the canals in every way smaller, quieter, less obtrusive, seemingly not be to greatly less modern than many American canals, but it is absolutely as functional. Only two types of boats are seen on the canal: the largest, running seventy five feet in length and fifteen feet across, are called bachelor boats, and the smaller boats, as long as the oats are drawn by a single horse and manned by four men and they carry provisions such as grain, pig iron, wrought iron, and other heavy freight. Cather makes notices that women are not allowed in the crew. The flats outnumber the larger boats and are load

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130 cargo space. Cather not ices the boatmen and boatwomen on her first night in Chester and is e in the Her critique extends past a She perceives a strong work ethic as well as an land, half water gypsy, a vagabond who manages to keep within the trace of labour, a tramp o f one road, the best paid and worst her supreme curiosity as she begins an investigation into the lives of the men and women who spend their lives traversing the ca nals of England. One night after the canal folk have eaten their evening meal, she has an opportunity to observe their behavior. The men go off to the public house and the women dress up for the the open air, in the vestibule to their backs, breasts, and arms to the world. Cather understands that their seeming immodesty derives from their upbringing aboard a canal boat. There is nothing sexual or shameful about their undressing almost in public, because their culture has its own gender norms. Cather continues to remark on the habits and expectations of canal women, likely considering their lives in contrast to her own. boatmen as their husbands, and take the more difficult of the two principal tasks, managing the job is a dual one. Unlike her

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131 (42). Cather observes that g ender expectations are subject to change across culture and class and that women are capable of perf orming traditionally masculine activities on par with men. Yet there are important similarities between the social roles of canal women and mo re privileged land going women t hat Cather fails to articulate, such as the expectation that they will bear and ra ise children, take care of the family, and keep the living quarters tidy. Cather watches one woman dress her small child, and thinks about all the hardships that n a box five by six .courted and married somewhere between the tiller and the towpath .and herself unfortunate. Cather has a peculiar admiration for th e tranquility of boatwomen even as their situation beautifully. Cather learns that the boatman, his wife, and their half dozen children like cabin heat and cold. They seldom have a change of clothing and sleep in what they wore during the day. The profession of boatman is handed down through the generations, as it is expected th at a son will follow his father into the profession. Cather is interested in the life cycle that the boatmen and women enter into and replicate hindoos than these peop as possible so that they will have more help on the boat. When the sons and daughters are grown

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132 and married, the husband and wife must run the boat without assistance, even though they are Cather seems particularly disturbed by the circumstances of the women, because they continually get the short end of the stick in a life cycle predicated on manual labor, child bearing, and child rearing. But despite the richly gendered content of her narrative, she frequently stop s short of gender analysis, perhaps because she lacks the terminology to articulate her concerns. She concludes by suggesting that despite this cycle of hard work and minimal reward, the Thus, in her final analysis Cather refrains from differentiating between the hardships of the boatmen and those of the boatwomen. This article illuminates the way in which lives and human relationships are structured by society, particular ly the hierarchical relationship between a husband and wife based upon stereotypes of masculine superiority and feminine inferiority. In order to sustain their livelihood aboard a canal boat, the canal women work together with their husbands, perhaps not a s complete equals, but at least as a team in which both players ar e indispensable. This article also illustrates the relationship between class location and gender construction; Victorian ideals of separate sphere s iving and working aboard a canal boat but gender still plays a role in the division of labor The women are expected to perform physical labor alongside their husbands. Yet, the women are still burdened with bear ing children and raising them. Cather recog nizes the particular disadvantages that the canal wo men face based on their gender. They are essentially treated as second class citizens despite their significant contributions e to article in terms of location and subject matter, she is consistently fascinated by people and drawn to lower

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133 class females in particular. In the fifth article, dated July 22 1902, Cather visits the East End of London. She is not afraid to launch crit icism where she thinks it is deserved, but her understanding of class and gender is complex and she refrains from stereotyping all women or all poor Londoners in one group. In her candid representation of the East End of London, Cather unapologetically dep icts the darker side of the city. Cather attempts to be both economical and practical in selecting a hotel in the London, selecting a hotel on King Street, off Cheapside, close to the Bank of England and the Lord counter end of procession with p working people that she sees hanging out of bars and behaving recklessly on the streets at all hours of the day and night. She criticizes the men and women in equal part, and in a few memorable lines juxtaposes the beauty of the architecture with the ugliness of the drunken city from which one gets the most satisfying and altogether happ y view of the Houses of Parliament up the river, is night and day thronged with drunken, homeless men and women who alternately while again problematic, has more to do with American norms of respectability and character than class or gender prejudice. In typical fashion, thing of the neatness and trimness which characterize our working

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134 gingham shirtwaist, preferring rather to feel elegant in a cotton satin one of unspeakable up and fake jewels over adequate hairpins and hygienic practices. Cather envisions the American girl as sensible, honest, and smart, not to mention modest and we national identity, especially as it related to gender and class identity, crops up in nearly all of her articles from abroad. industrious an d family oriented members of the working class. She does not attempt, like some of her contemporaries, to lump all members of the working class into one category. She is more apt to distinguish between groups based on different traditions, occupations, bel iefs, and morals, than she is based on economic status and class standing. One Sunday, Cather has the opportunity to witness a procession, in celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in the Italian Canfield, joins her and Isabella for the event. the community desp ite the morose weather. The Italian quarter is overcome by poverty, and yet ch in the was a religious ceremony, even to me, who understood neithe

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135 s in the Italians in London the dignity and respect that she expects of all people, across class lines, and she h as no patience for the poor who worsen their situation through sloth, drunkenness, and abuse of others. ing poor, particularly of the female sex, as well as the value that she places on a simple lifestyle and a secluded location, once again in her tenth Napoleon built Barbizon served as home to a number of famous artists and intellectuals, including M illet and Rousseau. Despites it s few famous inhabitants, Barbizon is a primitive village with no new the home of hard working folk, desperately poor, but never so greedy or so dead of soul that they will not take the time to train the peach tr (120). indications she makes of the way in which her gender affects her travel options. The hotel is nestled in the forest and subject to frequent rainstorms, which Cather greatly enjoys. The walls of the hotel are covered with oil sketches painted by locals and the guests a re a dynamic mix of Cather admires the strength and good spirits of the villagers, especially the females. The headed and brown faced an

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136 (122). Cather cannot turn away from the wo men in the fields and watches them until they return Before leaving Barbizon, Cather spends a day walking through the forest of Fontainebleau. She encounters family aft er family expressing their love for each other by holding hands and arms around trees and touching fingertips. Cather leaves Barbizon unwillingly, driving away at sun set. Her last image is of the harvesters working in the field and the last things that she hears is er and Wharton, we recall similar intersections of nationalism, gender, and class. All three narrate their travels through a feminist lens, and in doing so illuminate structural inequalities that negatively impact ma ny multiply marginalized groups.

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137 CHAPER 6 FULLER, CATHER, AND WHARTON: CONCLUSIONS Fuller dared, almost alone in her time, to consider women the intellectual equals of men. This defied centuries of tradition and custom that ranked women as mentally, socially, and physically inferior tot men. Fu rther, she lived by that belief, to the bewilderment and disapproval of others and at enormous cost to herself. Margaret Vanderhaar Allen, The Achievement of Margaret Fuller 1 Fuller, Cather, and Wharton all enjoyed spectacular careers, at odds with the e xpectations of their families as well as those that society held for women. Travel played a major role in their personal and professional lives and shaped their understanding of the fluidity of gender expectations and ideologies across cultures As mobile women who wrote about their travels, Fuller, Wharton, and Cather 2 challenging patriarchal norms and threatening legal, and ideological restrictions that s ought to keep [women] 3 All three writers were highly praised among both popular and critical audiences, despite suffering periods of marked unpopularity. Fuller was undeniably one of the most influential and skilled critics of the ninet the best critic in America 4 Wharton was 5 and hailed by some as the best female novelist of her time, perhaps even the best American novelist 6 Cather was equally notable, considered one of the most prominent American novelists of her day and awarded a Pulitzer P 1 Allen, The Ac hievement of Margaret Fuller 134. 2 Schriber, Writing Home 27. 3 4 Allen, 79. 5 Tuttleton, introduction, ix. 6 Ibid., xxi.

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138 Furthermore, Fuller, Wharton, and Cather each fared extremely well in a li terary marketplace that was often hostile to women in the years between the turn of the nineteenth century and the dawn of the twentieth 7 sful businesswomen who 8 involving themselves in every stage of the publication process. They were acutely aware of the significance of popular appeal and the importance of good publicity. Travel writing offered F uller and Wharton, in particular, an excellent genre for appealing to the masses while working toward their social and political goals, and it offered Cather an opportunity to tour Europe on her own terms while earning a living. Ultimately, Fuller, Wharto n, and Cather desired more than commercial success; they sought a place among the literary greats of the nineteenth century. At the time that Wharton and writ 9 It is not sufficient to correlate the increasing number of women writers, and female travel writers, with gender parity in the literary marketplace. Any sense of commerci al equality between the sexes is writers as deviations from an approv ed standard, and satirized or belittled qualities labeled 10 The years between 1820 and 1920 saw the transformation of travel and the entry of women and their voices into the public sphere. But, as Sc h d 7 Williams, Not in Sisterhood 4. 8 Ibid., 4. 9 Ibid 2. 10 Ibid. 2.

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139 11 early forays into the public sphere as traveler writers have been largely overlooked and their travel writing has often been dismissed as the work of neophytes While much travel writing, composed by men and women alike, was indeed clumsy and poorly crafted, some of it was great. women such as Margaret Fuller, Willa C 12 Their writing is as honest and revolutionary as it is be autiful and literary. The goal of this paper has been threefold: to illuminate the marginalization of important pieces of travel writing; to indicate their significance as feminist and literary tracts; and to suggest ways in which scholars might mine them for their rich content while acknowledging their shortcomings. The female travel writer of the nineteenth century is not a monolith, and must be placed in social and historical context; likewise, nineteenth century travel narratives occupy a broad spectru m from the overtly sexist and racist to the obviously feminist and anti racist. Fuller, Wharton, and Cather came from different backgrounds and possessed different rrative must be understood in terms of her Transcendentalism, which informs her progressive views on of nature. In f colonialis m and Orientalism. While we must acknowledge the Orientalism that pervades In Morocco we might also recognize the way in 11 Schrib er, Writing Home 201. 12 Fish, 3.

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140 13 In some instances, Whart on refers to the women of the harem as exotic and foreign, about issues of class across cultures and the relationship between class and gender construction. Th rough my close readings, I have sought to recover and assert the agency of Fuller, Wharton, and Cather as feminist travel writers and literary artists, but not at the expense of the marginalized groups that appear in their narratives. The travel writing o f these three ground breaking wom en thus holds pragmatic value for the historian, the sociologist, and the anthropologist, among others, and provides excellent material for thinking about the historical construction and deconstruction of gender, the evolut ion of social movements, and the propagation of racial stereotypes. But as I have argued throughout this paper, Summer on the Lakes In Morocco and Willa Cather in Europe are also valuable as literary tracts. They possess the same artistic knack for obser vation, witty commentary, and rich material as many male century. The travel writing of Fuller, Wharton, and Cather represents an untapped resource, a rich body of cutting 14 far before its time 13 McEwan, Gender, Geography and Empire 10. 14 Ibid. 7.

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141 REFERENCES Allen, Margaret V. The Achievement of Margaret Fuller University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1979. Behar, Ruth, and Deborah A. Gordon. Women Writing Culture Berkeley: Univers ity of California Press, 1995 Bendixen, Alfred, and Judith Hamera. The Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Blanchard, Paula. Margaret Fuller: From Transcendentalism to Revolution New York: Delacorte Press/S. Lawrence, 1978. Brown, E K, and Leon Edel. Willa Cather: A Critical Biography Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987. Capper, Charles. Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life New York: Oxford University Press, 1992 Cathe r, Willa. Willa Cather in Europe: Her Own Story of the First Journey New York: Knopf, 1956. History Today 44.12 (1994): 44 50. Fish, Cheryl J. Black and White Women's Travel Narrat ives: Antebellum Explorations. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004. Fuller, Margaret, and Mary Kelley. The Portable Margaret Fuller New York: Penguin Books, 1994. Fuller, Margaret, Ralph W. Emerson, W H. Channing, and James F. Clarke. Memo irs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli Boston: Roberts brothers, 1884. 1917 Middle Eastern Studies 46.1 (January 2010): 7 Lindemann, Marilee. The Cambridge Companion to Willa Cather Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005. McEwan, Cheryl. Gender, Geography, and Empire: Victorian Women Travellers in West Africa Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate, 2000. Melton, Jeffrey A. Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism: The Tide of a Great Popular Movement Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002.

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142 Mills, Sara. Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women's Travel Writing and Colonialism London: Routledge, 1991. Nevius, Blake. Edith Wharton: A Study o f Her Fiction Berkeley: University of California Press, 1953. O'Connor, Margaret A. Willa Cather: The Contemporary Reviews Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Amer ican Quarterly 40.1 (Mar., 1988), 110 126. O'Brien, Sharon. Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice New York: Ballantine Books, 1988. Robinson, Phyllis C. Willa, the Life of Willa Cather Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 1983. Rosaldo, Renato. Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis Boston: Beacon Press, 1989. Said, Edward W. Orientalism New York: Vintage Books, 1994. Schoolcraft, Jane J. and Robert D. Parker. The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolc raft Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. American Literature 59.2 (May 1987): 257 267. Schriber, Mary S. Telling Travels: Selected Writings by Nineteenth Century American Women Abroad DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1995. Scriber, Mary S. Writing Home: American Women Abroad, 1830 1920 Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia Press, 1997. Sidonie, Smith. Moving Lives: Twentieth century Wo Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. Singley, Carol J. A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2003. Steadman, Jennifer B. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2007. Stout, Janis P. Willa Cather: The Writer and Her World Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000.

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143 American Literature 63.2 (Jun. 1991): 242 262. Stowe, William W. Going Abroad: European Travel in Nineteenth Century American Culture Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994. Silenc In Morocco Studies in Travel Writing 13.3 (Sept. 2009): 239 50. Tuttleton, James W, Kristin O. Lauer, and Margaret P. Murray. Edith Wharton: The Contemporary Reviews Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Urry, J ohn. The Tourist Gaze London: Sage Publications, 2002. Walton, Geoffrey. Edith Wharton, a Critical Interpretation Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982. Williams, Deborah L, Not in Sisterhood: Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Zona Gale, and the Politics of Female Authorship New York: Palgrave, 2001. Wharton, Edith. In Morocco: Illustrated Hopewell, N.J: Ecco Press, 1996. Wharton, Edith, and Sarah B. Wright. Edith Wharton Abroad: Selected Travel Writings, 1888 1920 New York: St. Ma rtin's Press, 1995. Woodress, James L. Willa Cather: A Literary Life Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989. Woodress, James L. Willa Cather; Her Life and Art New York: Pegasus, 1970. Zwarg, Christina. Feminist Conversations: Fuller, Emerson, a nd the Play of Reading Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995.

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144 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Katharine Klebes received her B.A. in English from the University of Florida in 2010, earning the distinction of summa cum laude and phi beta kappa. She earned her M. A. in tudies from the University of Florida in May 2012. Her research interests include nineteenth and early twentieth travel writing. She is also involved in domestic violence advocacy in the community and pla ns to attend law school in the f all of 2012 with hopes of pursuing a career in public interest law and continuing her advocacy work.