The Strange History of the American Quadroon: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World (Paperback)
  • The Strange History of the American Quadroon: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World (Paperback)
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The Strange History of the American Quadroon: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World (Paperback)

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£30.95
Paperback 296 Pages / Published: 28/02/2015
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Exotic, seductive, and doomed: the antebellum mixed-race free woman of color has long operated as a metaphor for New Orleans. Commonly known as a ""quadroon,"" she and the city she represents rest irretrievably condemned in the popular historical imagination by the linked sins of slavery and interracial sex. However, as Emily Clark shows, the rich archives of New Orleans tell a different story. In The Strange History of the American Quadroon, Clark investigates how the narrative of the erotic colored mistress became an elaborate literary and commercial trope, persisting as a symbol that long outlived the political and cultural purposes for which it had been created. Untangling myth and memory, she presents a dramatically new and nuanced understanding of the myths and realities of New Orleans's free women of color.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469622064
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Clark tells a masterful story of the quadroon's migration from the Caribbean to the United States, surfacing in Philadelphia, and settling in New Orleans. . . . Scholars will find this book fascinating.--Early American Literature


Focused primarily on history but also incorporating literature, Clark creates a case study to explain the historical origins of New Orleans' reputation as the exotic home of the almost mythical American 'quadroon, ' often portrayed as the 'tragic mulatto.'--American Studies Journal


A book that historians of New Orleans and antebellum sexuality cannot ignore.--Journal of Southern History


Clark has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the intertwined histories of race and gender in early New Orleans. Recommended for academic readers.--Library Journal


Clark's thoroughly researched and beautifully written book replaces the simplistic and stereotypical accounts we have inherited from previous generations of scholars.--American Historical Review


Particularly well-written.--Journal of American History


This volume is a vault of information whose contents have been carefully mined from a wide variety of primary sources.--Southern Humanities Review


In her lively, comprehensive book, Clark broaches society's historical fascination with quadroons. . . . [She] weaves real-life examples with an encyclopedic overview of the widespread effects both the American and Haitian Revolutions had on cultural perceptions of a nebulous social class.--Publishers Weekly


Thorough and illuminating.--Legacy


A rich contribution to our understandings about the relationship between mythmaking and the creation of race, gender, and sex-based hierarchies in the Atlantic world.--The Historian


Jump[ing] headlong into [the] intersection of history, memory and mythmaking. . . Clark offers a credible alternative history. . . [and] eloquent and persuasive evidence that race was not simply a byproduct of slavery's racism, but was diligently and deliberately produced. It will surely prove impossible to look at the American quadroon the same way again.--H-Law


This study, a welcome addition to the story of Louisiana, the South, and U.S. social history, separates fact from legend, thus creating an understanding of complex social structure in a part of the U.S. often considered to be morally and politically exotic. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.--Choice


Richly-researched and compelling. . . . Dr. Clark's work does not disappoint. Her scholarship clears away the smoke and pulls back the veils on much received wisdom, revealing just how empowered, and how impressive our women of color ancestors could be. . . . A page turner.--Huffington Post Blog

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