"The Beecher Sisters" by Barbara A.              White

The Beecher Sisters Barbara A. White

Publication date:
04 Mar 2014
Yale University Press
416 pages: 235 x 156mm
17 plates
Sales territories:

A joint biography of three extraordinary sisters and the tumultuous century that they helped to shape

The Beecher sisters—Catharine, Harriet, and Isabella—were three of the most prominent women in nineteenth-century America. Daughters of the famous evangelist Lyman Beecher, they could not follow their father and seven brothers into the ministry. Nonetheless, they carved out pathbreaking careers for themselves. Catharine Beecher founded the Hartford Female Seminary and devoted her life to improving women’s education. Harriet Beecher Stowe became world famous as the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Isabella Beecher Hooker was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. This engrossing book is a joint biography of the sisters, whose lives spanned the full course of the nineteenth century. The life of Isabella Beecher—who has never been the subject of a biography—is examined in particular detail here. Drawing on little used sources, Barbara White explores Isabella’s political development and her interactions with her sisters and with prominent people of the time—from Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Mark Twain.

Barbara A. White is professor emeritus of women’s studies at the University of New Hampshire.

A judicious and deeply informed work that makes a distinct contribution to the Beecher scholarship."—Joanne Feit Diehl, University of California, Davis

"This monumental book significantly expands our knowledge and understanding of the social history of women, and it does so in an engaging manner that will appeal to both the scholar and the general reader."—Josephine Donovan, Professor Emerita, University of Maine, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Evil, Affliction, and Redemptive Love