Alice in Jamesland: The Story of Alice Howe Gibbens James by Susan E. Gunter

By Susan E. Gunter

Alice in Jamesland, the 1st biography of Alice Howe Gibbens James—wife of the psychologist and thinker William James, and sister-in-law of novelist Henry James—was made attainable via the rediscovery of 1000's of her letters and papers regarded as destroyed within the Nineteen Sixties. Encompassing eu shuttle, Civil warfare profiteering, suicide, a stormy courtship, s?ances, psychedelic mushrooms, the demise of a kid, and an everlasting love tale, Alice in Jamesland is a portrait of a nineteenth-century upper-middle-class marriage, instructed frequently via Alice’s personal letters and made the entire extra dynamic as a result of her function within the James relations.  Susan E. Gunter positions Alice as a lens wherein to view the relatives, as a perceptive observer aware of wisdom of relationships to which these outdoor the James kinfolk weren't. She additionally portrays Alice because the cohesive issue that held the Jameses jointly, bridging the distance among brothers William and Henry and appearing because the good heart for a hugely proficient yet eccentric relations. An idealistic, critical younger lady, Alice was once uniquely fitted to subscribe to this extended family, bringing mental soundness and unshakeable own conviction to her union with the Jameses. Her life’s tale presents a desirable view of 1 of America’s most crucial highbrow dynasties and gives new insights into the lives of nineteenth-century girls. (20090611)

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27 Many of the early female abolitionists later became leaders of the first feminist movements. The fervor that characterized Alice’s interest in the abolitionist movement remained with her all her life. Though she never became a feminist, she had been imprinted with a perfectionist sensibility. +/, when Daniel Gibbens took passage as ship’s doctor on the CWd^WjjWd for Liverpool, England. During his journey he wrote to his girls and to his Gibbens relations but not to Eliza. His shipboard journal entries reveal that while he missed his three daughters intensely, he never mentioned his wife.

An official committee had been formed. 67 The monument would feature a granite shaft and base, inscriptions, stone steps, and other embellishments. 68 For weeks the paper posted the names to make sure that no one would be forgotten. But for the Gibbenses, mourning remained a private affair. Daniel Gibbens was not one of the honored dead. ,. all Weymouth gathered at Old North Church for the parade to North Weymouth Cemetery. 69 That same month nineteen-year-old Alice Gibbens, her mother, her two sisters, and a Webb relation, Helen Merrill, sailed for Europe.

After all, they had tried to secede ij_hh_d]i  ') from the nation. 42 The sights along Mobile’s wharves were a wonder to the doctor. ,+. On one end of the boat there was a furnace on which food could be cooked, and in the middle of the boat a tentlike awning covered the family’s beds. Next to the beds a cow was hemmed in by a rude slat enclosure. The far end had room for a large chicken coop. Discouraged by the war’s vicissitudes, this Southerner had packed his family and all his worldly goods onboard and fled down the river to Mobile.

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