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The Captain's Widow of SandwichSelf-Invention and the Life of Hannah Rebecca Burgess, 1834-1917$
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Megan Taylor Shockley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814783191

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814783191.001.0001

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Rebecca’s World

Rebecca’s World

Developing Character

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 Rebecca’s World
Source:
The Captain's Widow of Sandwich
Author(s):

Megan Taylor Shockley

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814783191.003.0002

This chapter describes passages from the autograph journal of Rebecca Burgess (neé Crowell), entitled Flowers in Frolic, and the reflections therein; which, when coupled with corroborating historical evidence, paints her as a middle-class woman of moderate privilege, a woman whose community was intrinsically important to her identity and a community whose character was not changing, despite the economic transition of Massachusetts from a rural to an industrial economy. This book establishes Rebecca's world for the reader of her journals: it reveals her gentility with references to religious and ethical tropes in the writing; it introduces her community as a network of friends and relations who cared about her; it reflects her connection with William two years before they married; and it also shows that Rebecca was no stranger to loss at an early age.

Keywords:   Rebecca Crowell, William Burgess, Flowers in Frolic, Massachusetts, community, gentility, religious tropes, ethical tropes

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