The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe

The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe - Elaine Showalter This is a study of the life of Julia Ward Howe, first through the lenses of how she was suppressed by her strict father and then by her domineering husband. It then shifts to show how through publishing her poetry and giving talks on philosophy and, later, women's rights, she came into her own talents and became a beloved American icon. Of course, this rising fame came predominantly through her poem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

This book is super-engaging and reads quickly--my copy only had 300 pages, the last 50 being references/notes/index. I finished it in 3 days, so I would recommend it to anybody looking for a fast-paced nonfiction.

My Transcendentalism-loving heart enjoyed this book due to the fact that Julia and her husband were very much on the fringes of Transcendentalism. Julia interacted with Louisa May Alcott (who found Julia snobby!), Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and basically all your Transcendentalist faves.

On the whole, Julia was a privileged women with a love for socializing and the finer things in life who eventually found a passion for speaking out for underprivileged groups, including women, slaves, immigrants, and more.