Daughters of Canaan: A Saga of Southern Women by Margaret Ripley Wolfe (review)

Daughters of Canaan: A Saga of Southern Women by Margaret Ripley Wolfe (University Press of Kentucky, 1995)

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Daughters of Canaan: A Saga of Southern Women by Margaret Ripley Wolfe (review)

by Judith E. Funston
Southern Cultures, Vol. 3, No. 1: Spring 1997

University Press of Kentucky, 1995

“Women knew that a land where men were contented, uncontradicted and safe in possession of unpunctured vanity was likely to be a very pleasant place for women to live. So, from the cradle to the grave, women strove to make men pleased with themselves, and the satisfied men repaid lavishly widi gallantry and adoration” — so Margaret Mitchell describes the mythic antebellum South in Gone With The Wind, the novel that for the popular imagination characterized the southern woman as either flirtatious belle or long-suffering angel. Margaret Ripley Wolfe, in Daughters of Canaan: A Saga of Southern Women, reveals the inaccuracy of such stereotypes, arguing that the experience of southern women cannot be neady categorized; indeed, she shows tiiat southern women have often pioneered social change.