In Joy and in Sorrow brings together some of the finest historians of the South in a sweeping exploration of the meaning of the family in this troubled region. In their vast canvas of the Victorian South, the authors explore the private lives of Senators, wealthy planters, and the belles of high society, along with the humblest slaves and sharecroppers, both white and black. Stretching from the height of the antebellum South's pride and power through the chaos of the Civil War and Reconstruction to the end of the century, these essays uncover hidden worlds of the Southern family, worlds of love and duty--and of incest, miscegenation, and insanity.
Featuring an introduction by C. Vann Woodward, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mary Chesnut's Civil War, and a foreword by Anne Firor Scott, author of The Southern Lady, this work presents an outstanding array of historians: Eugene Genovese, Catherine Clinton, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Carol Bleser, Drew Faust, James Roark, Michael Johnson, Brenda Stevenson, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Jacqueline Jones, Peter Bardaglio, and more. They probe the many facets of Southern domestic life, from the impact of the Civil War on a prominent Southern marriage to the struggles of postwar sharecropper families. One author turns the pages of nineteenth century cookbooks, exploring what they tell us about home life, housekeeping, and entertaining without slaves after the Civil War. Other essays portray the relationship between a Victorian father and his devoted son, as well as the private writings of a long-suffering Southern wife.
In Joy and in Sorrow offers a fascinating look into the tangled reality of Southern life before, during, and after the Civil War. With this collection of essays, editor Carol Bleser provides a powerful new way of understanding this most self-consciously distinct region. In Joy and in Sorrow will appeal to everyone interested in marriage and the family, the problems of gender and slavery, as well as in the history of the South, old and new.