University of Wisconsin Press colophon
 
 

 

 

University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site

 

 

Catalog Archive / Fall 2022

As Told by Herself
Women’s Childhood Autobiography, 1845–1969

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

“This is a comprehensive, insightful literary history of women’s autobiographies of childhood. Thoroughly researched, highly original, and persuasive, As Told by Herself: Women’s Childhood Autobiography, 1845–1969 addresses a significant scholarly gap in very productive and important ways.”
—Kate Douglas, author of Contesting Childhood: Autobiography, Trauma and Memory

125 years of women writing about their girlhoods

As Told by Herself offers the first systematic study of women's autobiographical writing about childhood. More than 175 works—primarily from English-speaking countries and France, as well as other European countries—are presented here in historical sequence, allowing Lorna Martens to discern and reveal patterns as they emerge and change over time. What do the authors divulge, conceal, and emphasize? How do they understand the experience of growing up as girls? How do they understand themselves as parts of family or social groups, and what role do other individuals play in their recollections? To what extent do they concern themselves with issues of memory, truth, and fictionalization?

Stopping just before second-wave feminism brought an explosion in women's childhood autobiographical writing, As Told by Herself explores the genre's roots and development from the mid-nineteenth century, and recovers many works that have been neglected or forgotten. The result illustrates how previous generations of women—in a variety of places and circumstances—understood themselves and their upbringing, and how they thought to present themselves to contemporary and future readers.

 

Lorna Martens is a professor of German and comparative literature at the University of Virginia and is the author of several books, including The Promise of Memory: Childhood Recollection and Its Objects in Literary Modernism.

 

 

Praise

“In this rich, empirical study, over one hundred years of women’s autobiographical writing is carefully curated and discussed. Accounting for broad historical as well as cultural shifts, Lorna Martens assembles a wonderfully substantial picture of the diverse ways in which women have self-consciously written about and represented their childhood self.”
—Kylie Cardell, author of Dear World: Contemporary Uses of the Diary

 

Resources

Download Cover: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy

 

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction
1 Beginnings: Women’s Childhood Autobiography Prior to World War I
2 The Interwar Years: Memoirs and Semi-Memoirs
3 The Interwar Years: The Golden Age of Psychological Self-Portraiture
4 Women’s Childhood Autobiography during World War II
5 Women’s Childhood Autobiography from the End of the Second World War through the 1960s
Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography of Women’s Childhood Autobiographies to 1969
Index

 


Also in the Series


Whispers of Cruel Wrongs: Cover showing a line drawing of Louisa Jacobs atop a manilla background, with cropped letters and envelopes lingering on the edges of the page.

Whispers of Cruel Wrongs
The Correspondence of Louisa Jacobs and Her Circle, 1879–1911
Edited by Mary Maillard

Such Anxious Hours: Cover showing a man, woman, and child, all wearing old-fashioned, prairie outfits, standing outdoors in the snow. The photo is overlaid with a red and a blue layer, giving it the style of a 3-D movie.

Such Anxious Hours
Wisconsin Women’s Voices from the Civil War
Edited by Jo Ann Daly Carr

As Told by Herself: cover depicting a reflection of a shadowed figure over leaf-strewn water. The title text is written in white font, almost joining the sheen of light in the relfection.

Larger images

October 2022
LC: 2022000577 CT
320 pp. 6 x 9

Book icon
Casebound $79.95 S
ISBN 9780299339104
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart