Corra Harris and the Divided Mind of the New South

Catherine Oglesby

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"Oglesby skillfully unknots the tangled bundle of contradictions that defined Corra Harris, one of the South's most underappreciated writers."--Tracy Revels, Wofford College

"In this gracefully written intellectual biography, Catherine Oglesby provides a fascinating look into the life and work of Corra Harris, a woman who was the very embodiment of paradox."--Anastatia Sims, Georgia Southern University

"An engaging account of the factors that shaped one of the most popular conservative women writers of the early twentieth century."--Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh

Corra Harris (1869-1935) was one of the most widely published and nationally popular women writers in the United States. A Circuit Rider's Wife (1910) was Georgia's most celebrated novel for nearly three decades. Now little read and almost forgotten, Harris's life offers a fascinating glimpse into a world nearly unimaginable to us today.

In her writing, Harris poignantly and often humorously captured the paradoxes characteristic of the New South, a time and place of radically divergent goals. Pressed by national and economic demands to modernize, and regional desire to hold on to the past, leaders struggled at the turn of the century to reconcile competing goals. Issues of race, class, and gender found in Harris's writing were at the heart of the struggle.

In depicting the complexities of Harris's era, her life, and her personality, historian Catherine Oglesby offers a remarkable insight into early twentieth-century literature and culture. She demonstrates the ways Harris's work and life both differed from and were the same as other southern women writers, and reveals the ways time and place intersect with race, class, gender, and other variables in the forging of identity.

Catherine Oglesby is professor of history at Valdosta State University.

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" While Harris' attitudes are distasteful to us today, this facinating study is a clear window into a period of change in American history."
--Book News Inc.


"A useful exploration of a life and career that deserves more attention."
--The Journal of American History

"Oglesby is good at tying together the personal, intellectual, and cultural strands that formed the life and work of Harris." "A useful exploration of a life and career that deserves more attention."
--The Journal of American History

"Oglesby skillfully weaves Harris's story and ideas in chapters about her life and works."
--Georgia Historical Quarterly

"In this lively and engaging intellectual biography, rich in breadth and texture, Catherine Oglesby provides a welcome missing key to unlocking Harris and her numerous works."
--Gender & History

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