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Witness to ReconstructionConstance Fenimore Woolson and the Postbellum South, 1873-1894$
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Kathleen Diffley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030253

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030253.001.0001

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date: 11 December 2017

Zephaniah Swift Spalding

Zephaniah Swift Spalding

Constance Woolson’s Cipher

Chapter:
(p.107) Zephaniah Swift Spalding
Source:
Witness to Reconstruction
Author(s):

Cheryl B. Torsney

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617030253.003.0007

This chapter argues that in a number of Woolson’s early Civil War poems and stories, her affection for Zeph Spalding gets displaced onto the Confederate brigadier general John Hunt Morgan. In this guise among others, Zeph haunts Woolson’s writing throughout her career: in Anne (1880), Woolson’s first novel, as Captain Ward Heathcote; and in Horace Chase (1894), Woolson’s last novel, as the eponymous Yankee businessman. Throughout, Zeph functions as a cipher that reveals Woolson’s understanding of the Civil War and its aftermath, the economic expansion that followed, and the imperialist zeitgeist of nineteenth-century America.

Keywords:   Confederate brigadier general, John Hunt Morgan, Civil War, economic expansion, imperialist zeitgeist

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