Translation, Migration, & Gender in the Americas, the Transatlantic, & the Transpacific
5-8 Jul 2017 Bordeaux (France)
Grace Greenwood's Mid-Nineteenth-Century Travel Writing for Adults and Children
Lesley Ginsberg  1  
1 : University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Though all but forgotten by scholars (Eckel, Garrett, Homestead, and Morin are exceptions), Grace Greenwood (Sara Jane Clarke Lippincott) was in nineteenth-century American letters a ubiquitous presence whose travel writings about England, Europe, and the American West were successfully marketed to children and adults. Her maiden voyage abroad (1852) was partially facilitated and underwritten by the prestigious publishing firm of Ticknor and Fields and is documented in Greenwood's unpublished letters to James T. Fields. By using this important yet understudied archive, this paper shows how a nineteenth-century American woman writer participated in the marketing and managing of her travels as she transformed her pen name into a literary brand dependent on her identity as a traveler. In 1853 she launched the children's magazine The Little Pilgrim, while Haps and Mishaps of a Tour In Europe (1854), dedicated to her publishers, was Greenwood's most successful publication with the firm. Greenwood's travel writings cross borders between works for children and adults yet also exploit the emerging antebellum literary boundaries of niche markets (Wadsworth). Finally, this paper analyzes Greenwood's travel writings for children in relation to established juvenile genres, including geographies and travel narratives (“the imperial production of geographic knowledge,” Blunt and McEwan), that reinforce religious, racial, ethnic, and class distinctions even as Greenwood challenges gender conventions. While nineteenth-century American women's travel writing has been explored in terms of “the powerful intersections of gender, nationalism, and transnationalism” (Bailey), the extent to which women travel writers are “doubly different” (Bassnett), the “overlapping categories of gender, genre, and identity” (Siegel), anti-racist activism (Fish), the domestication of travel (Schriber), and feminist recovery (Elsden), this paper highlights Greenwood's correspondence with Fields to illustrate how a popular American woman writer created herself as a literary commodity by manipulating the transatlantic and trans-American dimensions of U.S. publishing.

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