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Chapter 14 - Sexuality in Print

from Part II - Forms and Formats

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 June 2022

Justine S. Murison
Affiliation:
University of Illinois
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Summary

The decades between 1830 and 1850 in the Northeastern United States gave rise to what historians have called the antebellum print explosion. As sexuality finds its way into print in this period, it is represented and debated simultaneously by and for different people, with different meanings, and under different auspices. Its genres span a number of antebellum audiences, including moral reform directories, “flash press” weeklies, “fancy books,” city mysteries, sentimental novels, slave narratives, medical literature, phrenological writing, and poetry. The work of the present essay is to survey some of these different examples of sexuality in print and show how they nuance our historical understanding of sexuality and its relationship to print in the antebellum period.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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