Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Joseph McCullough

Number of Pages



Writing from the Spirit, Writing from the Soul: Five Nineteenth Century American Women Writers focuses on the fiction writing of Fanny Fern (Ruth Hall), Harriet Wilson (Our Nig), Rebecca Harding Davis (Margret Howth), Frances E. W. Harper (Iola Leroy), and Kate Chopin (The Awakening). Each writer is studied through her life and through the women characters she writes to come to an understanding of how each author uses her unique sense of spirituality and her unique life experiences to formulate a picture of women's life and experiences in nineteenth century America; The concept of writing from the spirit and writing from the soul is explored with each writer and her work in much the same way that French feminist critics of modern day have explored women's writing from the standpoint of "l'ecriture feminine." This work takes off on the ideas of the French feminists to deepen an understanding of the uniqueness and validity of women's writing, especially women writers of the past century. Biographical, historical, social, and theological considerations constitute the basis of this study.


American; Century; Chopin; Chopin, Kate; Chopin, Kate; Davis; Davis, Rebecca Harding; Davis, Rebecca Harding Fanny; Feminism; Fern; Fern, Fanny; Five; Frances; Fern, Fanny; Harding; Harper; Harper, Frances E. W.@; Harriet; Harper, Frances E. W.@; Kate; Nineteenth; Purveyors; Rebecca; Soul; Spirit; Spirituality Wilson; Wilson, Harriet; Women; Writers; Writing; Wilson, Harriet

Controlled Subject

American literature; Women's studies

File Format


File Size

4761.6 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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