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Lydia Maria Child
Lydia Maria Child
An Annotated Bibliography
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created by Kathy Terrill
March 31, 1998
 
 
"African-American Mosaic Exhibition (Library of Congress)."   
          http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam005.htm  
    This web site contains an exhibit of rare historical documents that relate to the abolitionist movement of the 1800's.  The image of the Anti-Slavery Almanac for 1843, which Mrs. Child compiled is displayed here.  Anyone interested in the American abolitionist movement would enjoy visiting this site. 
Bronson, Walter Cochran. "Lydia Maria Francis Child."  The Dictionary of   
          American Biography.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964.  
    This useful reference source provides biographical sketches on deceased Americans who made important contributions to American society.  It can be found in most public libraries. 
Clifford, Deborah Pickman. Crusader for Freedom: A Life of Lydia Maria   
          Child.  Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.  
    For more than a decade, Clifford studied the life of Lydia Maria Child.  This fine biography is chock-full of information that has been extensively researched by Clifford.  This book is currently out of print.  However, it may be found in larger public or collegiate libraries.

"Correspondence between Lydia Maria Child and Gov. Wise and Mrs. Mason of Virginia."  
 http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgibin/quer...:@field(FLD001+07016677+):@@@$REF$  

    The interesting exchange between Mrs. Child and the two Virginians regarding the Harpers Ferry raid by John Brown in 1860 is found on this Library of Congress web site.  It also includes the correspondence between John Brown and Mrs. Child.  I highly recommend this site, especially for anyone interested in American history. 
"Early American Fiction: Lydia Maria [Francis] Child."   
          http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/eaf/authors/lmfc.html  
    The focus of this site is on Mrs. Child's contribution to American literature. It does provide several nineteenth-century biographical sketches about Child's life. A few excerpts from her writings are included. 
"Harriet Jacobs Home Page"  http://www.gc.cc.va.us/~gcadamj/hjhome.htm  
    This wonderful site contains the entire Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl as written by Harriet Jacobs and provides information about the life and times of Harriet Jacobs. The original introduction by Lydia Maria Child is included along with an informative introduction by the web-site author. Other useful tools include a detailed glossary, an interesting timeline and images that relate to Harriet Jacobs and slave life during that time period. A very detailed resource list provides the readers with more reference sources so as to further their study.  I highly recommend this site. 
"History of Medford."   http://www.medford.org/history.htm  
    This web site describes Medford, Massachusetts, where Lydia Maria Child spent her early years, and it offers a few details about Child's life. 
Jacobs, Harriet A.  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Cambridge: Harvard
          University Press, 1987.  
    Considered by many scholars to be one of the most insightful slave narratives of the nineteenth century, this book is a must read for anyone who would like to know more about the life of a slave woman in the Antebellum period.  Mrs. Child not only edited but also marketed this book in 1861.  In this edition, Jean Yellin provides a detailed introduction for the reader and includes correspondence of Harriet Jacobs and Lydia Maria Child.  I found her research notes invaluable. Yellin has done extensive research on Jacobs and offers interesting details that I did not find elsewhere.  I highly recommend this edition. 
Karcher, Carolyn L.,ed. A Lydia Maria Child Reader. Durham: Duke
          University Press, 1997.  
    I thoroughly enjoyed this fine book.  Karcher has spent over fifteen years researching the life and times of Lydia Maria Child.  Since the material is organized into six major  topics, it provides a very comprehensive view of Child's multifaceted life.  Topics range from children's literature, religion and feminism to slavery and Indian's rights.  If I had to purchase one book on Child, it would be this one, for it includes the original writings of Child and a detailed commentary by Karcher on their relevance to the culture and life of nineteenth century America. 
"Lydia Maria Francis Child Papers"   
          http://www.clements.umich.edu/Webguides/C/Child.html  
    The William L. Clements Library of the University of Michigan provides information on their collection of writings by Lydia Maria Child. Also included is useful information regarding Child's life and a detailed subject index on the Lydia Maria Child Papers. 
Masur, Louis P., ed.  "The real war will never get in the books": Selections
          from writer during the Civil War. New York: Oxford University
          Press, 1993. 
 
    Louis Masur has compiled the writings of fourteen important writers of the Civil War period. He includes Lydia Maria Child's letters in this collection. These letters reveal Child's thoughts and concerns during the war and highlight her commitment to the abolitionist movement. Masur has written a brief yet very informative summary of Child's involvement with the anti-slavery crusade and her concerns regarding the welfare of the freedmen. 
Meltzer, Milton.  Tongue of Flame: The Life of Lydia Maria Child. New
          York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1965.  
    This biography is geared toward teens and young adults.  However, even adults will enjoy the interesting details about Lydia Maria Child.  Meltzer concentrates on Child's literary skills and how she made a tremendous difference in the abolitionist movement.  Meltzer's portrayal of Child's courage and determination is inspiring. This book reads easily and is a satisfactory introduction to Child's life.  This book may be hard to find.  Although the last publishing date was in 1991, it is currently out of print. 
Meltzer, Milton and Patricia G. Holland. Lydia Maria Child: Selected
          Letters,1817-1880. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts
          Press, 1982.  
 
    The editors have arranged Child's letters chronologically and provide a useful commentary with each chapter.  Overall, it assists the reader in sorting out the chronological details of Child's extensive works.  Both editors have studied Child's life and selected the letters so as to reveal her character and the culture of American nineteenth century life. 
Mills, Bruce.  Cultural Reformations: Lydia Maria Child and the Literature
          of  Reform. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1994.  
    Mills focuses on Lydia Maria Child, the writer and reformer.  He provides a scholarly account of Child's influential role in reform literature of the nineteenth century.  I found his detailed notes in the appendix useful and informative. 
Osborne, William S.  Lydia Maria Child. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980.  
    As an English professor with a specific interest in nineteenth century American literature, Osborne provides a detailed chronology of Child's life and focuses on her contribution to American literature.  There is an appendix and a detailed record of notes and references that are very useful.  Although this book is out of print, it may be found in a collegiate library. 
Whittier, John Greenleaf, ed. Letters of Lydia Maria Child. Boston:
          Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1882.  
    This book was out of print for some time. However, the Greenwood Publishing Group republished it in 1983.  Libraries with extensive collections often have a copy of the original edition.  I found the introduction by Whittier, a friend of Mrs. Child quite moving and inspiring.  This appendix includes the eulogy given by Wendell Phillips after Child's death in 1880.  Both men were fellow abolitionists and recognized Child's vital role in the abolitionist movement.  Whittier selected some of Child's most interesting letters.  It is well worth the search.

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