Milka lived in Martha Moore (1740-1829) and flourished in the Philadelphia area during its heyday, when it was the center of trade, politics, social life and culture of the young republic. A learned woman, quitting the Quaker meeting for an unmarried marriage, Moore knew and corresponded to many of the leading lights of her day.
From her network of knowledge, she created a familiar book, published here for the first time. Moore compiled her popular book during the American Revolution, carefully selecting the works of poetry and prose that she and her friends enjoyed more than reading and wanted to remember.
Included 126 works of prose and poetry by at least sixteen different authors, mostly women. Catherine Blecki and Karin Wulf edited and reproduced the entire collection, adding useful annotations and explanatory articles that define the collection in the historical and literary context.
Moore's book will be a treasure trove for American researchers and thinkers of both sexes, because it includes two of the most written bodies of British America: sixteen new poems (twenty-four stories at all) by Susan Wright and one of Quaker's followers. The missing part of the magazine was retained by Elizabeth Graeme Ferguson during her trip to England.
There is also an impressive collection of pieces by Hannah Griffiths, the moral Quaker and the intelligence that commented on politics, society and home life during the Revolution. Moore also included writings by Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Fothergill.
While researchers speculated on the extent to which elite women share ideas through reading and writing during this period, Moore's book is the richest collection of evidence that reveals the nature and content of women's intellectual society in British America. The quality of writing is high and reflects a range of popular literary genres, including religious and financial poetry, songs, poetry, foreign verse, hymns, epics, letters and magazines. Topics range from family and friends to religion and death to politics and war - which explains why women's fears are confined to the domestic sphere.
In general, the Moore Group offers an unparalleled vision of the interests and tastes of educated women in early America.
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