Complicated submissions : sati and subversion in three women’s novels of the Raj AND Appledore in bloom: Thaxter, Hassam, and a flowering of art

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Celia Legband Hawley (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Anne Wallace

Abstract: What can literary studies tell us about the Hindu custom of sati? The nineteenth century fiction of Flora Annie Steel, Maud Diver, and Krupabai Sattianadhan, written contemporaneously with the gendered norms it portrays, provides a representation of the patriarchal dynamic between Hindu men and women that might be implicated in the extreme act of widow self-immolation. This study examines a novel by each woman author, Steel’s On the Face of the Waters, Diver’s Lilimani, and Satthianadhan’s Kamala to uncover extant cultural expectations and behaviors that contributed to the acceptance of the practice of sati and to its mediated resistance and subversion. AND The North Atlantic island of Appledore in the Isles of Shoals inspired American artists Celia Thaxter and Childe Hassam to prolific creation before and after the turn of the twentieth century. This paper argues that the island acted as their muse and is an archive of their experience. Celia Laighton Thaxter and Childe Hassam, author/gardener and Impressionist painter, respectively, spent many summers on the small island over the course of decades, Thaxter hosting an arts salon and Hassam joining her and a cadre of America’s creative elite in exclusive community. Thaxter produced poetry, prose, journalism, and children’s stories as she annually cultivated an ornamental flower garden; Hassam painted Thaxter’s garden and the contours of the island’s coastline in oil, watercolor, and pastel. The pair collaborated on Thaxter’s literary production, and Hassam went on to document the topography and geology of the island for years after Thaxter’s death, creating a collection of Impressionist works that showcase Appledore’s rocky natural beauty. Together, in words and images, they created a record of Appledore that made it an archival place. A replica of Thaxter’s original garden is maintained today and can be visited courtesy The University of New Hampshire’s Shoals Marine Laboratory and its collaboration with Cornell University.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
American, British Raj, Celia Thaxter, Childe Hassam, Nineteenth century, Women's Literature
Literature $x Women authors $x History and criticism
Women and literature $z India $x History $y 19th century
Thaxter, Celia, $d 1835-1894
Hassam, Childe, $d 1859-1935

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