Salem History Professor's Groundbreaking Book About American Motherhood Published

April 25, 2018
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artistic S, established 1772

 
Maternal Bodies: Redefining Motherhood in Early America, a compelling new book written by Dr. Nora Doyle, has just been published by The University of North Carolina Press. Dr. Doyle is assistant professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Salem College. 
 
Dr. Doyle’s book focuses on the contrast that existed between the lived experiences of flesh-and-blood women and the sentimental vision of the ideal mother that permeated American culture from the 1750s to the 1850s. 
 
Early reviewers are lauding the book for its scholarship and multidisciplinary approach: 
 
“The only study of its kind to combine social history, literary sources, and visual culture, Maternal Bodies offers a rich and complex discussion of the meaning of motherhood in colonial North America and the antebellum United States.” Kathleen M. Brown, University of Pennsylvania
 
In 2014 Dr. Doyle’s doctoral dissertation, which laid out much of the groundwork for Maternal Bodies, was awarded the Allan Nevins Prize by the Society of American Historians.
 
Dr. Doyle holds a BA in history from Grinnell College and an MA and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maternal Bodies is her first book.