Weekend Reads: “The Plantation Mistress,” by Catherine Clinton

I finished writing draft 1.0 of Bayou Fire yesterday.  My goal was to complete it by year-end … and I did so with two days to spare.  Talk about cutting it close!  Anyway, this is one of the books that I found helpful in understanding women’s roles during the 1830s.

The Plantation MistressThe Plantation Mistress by Catherine Clinton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a fascinating study about the prescriptive roles of women in the antebellum South. I purchased it as part of the research for a historical novel I’m writing, and it has proven invaluable already.

While this is a scholarly work, it is far from dry and pedantic. The author employs excerpts from correspondence (letter writing was practically de riguer during this time period) but also plantation records to provide a look at the challenges faced by plantation mistresses. Their lives were far from the indolent, party-filled circuit we are given to expect from films like Gone With the Wind.

If this subject matter is of interest to you, I highly recommend the book.

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