Throughout American history, the gendered workings of society have prevented women from exploring the depths of their imaginations. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, women were discouraged from writing and reading any texts that could potentially corrupt their “delicate” minds. They were urged to focus solely on the domestic needs of the family.
Some women of the age, however, continued to pursue their literary endeavors, despite societal critique. Women like Fanny Fern, Kate Chopin, and Hannah W. Foster produced esteemed literary works. Yet, the modern American education system still struggles to incorporate works by early American women writers into the curriculum. In addition, the digital resources to analyze texts by early American women writers are slim.
In an effort to decrease the degradation of early American women writers, I would like to welcome you to the textual recovery and digital edition of The Factory Girl. Written by Sarah Savage, The Factory Girl exposes the factory as the industrial institution responsible for altering the structure, pace, and morality of American society, especially for the working class woman. In this textual recovery, we will explore the social implications of factory life for the early American woman, as well as the demands of the Cult of True Womanhood.