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|Named Person:||Mabel Loomis Todd; Mabel Loomis Todd|
|Material Type:||Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript|
|Document Type:||Book, Archival Material|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Brooke M Steinhauser
|Credits:||Advisor: Cynthia G. Falk.|
|Description:||vii, 81 leaves : illustrations (some color), gen. tables, portraits ; 29 cm|
|Responsibility:||Brooke M. Steinhauser.|
This thesis examines the efforts and ambitions of Mabel Loomis Todd in Amherst, Massachusetts, between the years of 1881 and 1917. Acknowledged today as the first posthumous editor of Emily Dickinson's poetry, Todd's life provides the compelling narrative of a woman negotiating between shifting ideologies and white, middle-class social conventions. Balancing a yearning for recognition and self-development, an eccentric private life, and the realities of class and status in American society, she became a civic leader through her work with women's associations, a world traveler and national lecturer, and a successful writer and editor.
My research identifies the unifying qualities of her many endeavors and the impetus behind them in order to produce a highly dimensional portrait with implications for broader women's history at the pivotal turn of the century. I have endeavored to juxtapose Todd's public endeavors and private ambitions by contextualizing them in the existing literature on the female American experience and by mining an unusually comprehensive cache of primary sources.
Above all, Todd was a self-made woman whose ambitions were realized by consciously working within, and simultaneously pushing, the boundaries of accepted social mores in Amherst, Massachusetts, during the development of New Womanhood in America.