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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

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

Megan Taylor Shockley

NYU Press

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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