Waiting on Wednesday – The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island by Mac Griswold

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island – Mac Griswold
To be published: June 2013

Goodreads says:The extraordinary story of a Long Island plantation across three centuries and eleven generations

In 1984, the landscape historian Mac Griswold was rowing along a Long Island creek when she came upon a stately yellow mansion and a garden guarded by hulking boxwoods. She instantly knew that boxwoods that large—twelve feet tall, fifteen feet wide—were hundreds of years old. And so was the house, Sylvester Manor, held in the same family for eleven generations.
The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island    When Griswold went inside, she encountered a house full of revelations, like the 1666 charter for the land and a letter from Thomas Jefferson. But most remarkable—and most disturbing—was what the aged owner, Andrew Fiske, casually called the “slave staircase,” which would reveal the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery.
Years after her tour, Griswold could not let go of the house and its many secrets, and she began to research the family that gave the property its name. In 1997, alongside a team of archaeologists, she began to dig, uncovering a landscape filled with stories.
Based on years of research—and voyages that took Griswold as far as West Africa—The Manor is the biography of a place that has endured through wars great and small, through fortunes won and lost, and the tale of the family that has occupied it for three centuries. At once a fine-grained account and a sweeping drama, it captures American history in all its richness and contradictions.

What are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday – Monstrous Motherhood: Eighteenth-Century Culture and the Ideology of Domesticity by Marilyn Francus

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Monstrous Motherhood: Eighteenth-Century Culture and the Ideology of Domesticity
by Marilyn Francus
To be released Dec 3, 2012

Goodreads says: Although credited with the rise of domesticity, eighteenth-century British culture singularly lacked narratives of good mothers, ostensibly the most domestic of females. With startling frequency, the best mother was absent, disembodied, voiceless, or dead. British culture told tales almost exclusively of wicked, surrogate, or spectral mothers–revealing the defects of domestic ideology, the cultural fascination with standards and deviance, and the desire to police maternal behaviors.Monstrous Motherhood: Eighteenth-Century Culture and the Ideology of Domesticity

“Monstrous Motherhood” analyzes eighteenth-century motherhood in light of the inconsistencies among domestic ideology, narrative, and historical practice. If domesticity was so important, why is the good mother’s story absent or peripheral? What do the available maternal narratives suggest about domestic ideology and the expectations and enactment of motherhood? By focusing on literary and historical mothers in novels, plays, poems, diaries, conduct manuals, contemporary court cases, realist fiction, fairy tales, satire, and romance, Marilyn Francus reclaims silenced maternal voices and perspectives. She exposes the mechanisms of maternal marginalization and spectralization in eighteenth-century culture and revises the domesticity thesis.

“Monstrous Motherhood” will compel scholars in eighteenth-century studies, women’s studies, family history, and cultural studies to reevaluate a foundational assumption that has driven much of the discourse in their fields.

What are you waiting for?