A Romance of the Republic, published in 1867, was Lydia Maria Child's fourth novel and the capstone of her remarkable literary career. Written shortly after the Civil War, it offered a progressive alternative to Uncle Tom's Cabin. The novel advocates interracial marriage as an earnest attempt to foster toleration and communication between Anglo- and African Americans. In constructing the tale of fair-skinned Rosa and Flora Royal - daughters of a slaveowner whose mother was also the daughter of a slaveowner - Child consciously attempted to counter two popular claims: that racial intermarriage was unnatural and that slavery was a benevolent institution. But Child's target in A Romance of the Republic was not merely racism. Her characters are forced both to reconsider their attitudes toward white and black and to question the very foundation of the patriarchal society in which they live.