My Ever Dear Daughter, My Own Dear Mother: The Correspondence of Julia Sonte Towne and Mary Julia Towne, 1868-1882
edited by Katherine R. Morgan
University of Iowa Press, 1996
eISBN: 978-1-58729-158-6 | Paper: 978-0-87745-564-6
Library of Congress Classification LA2317.T67A3 1996


In 1868 twenty-two-year-old Mary Julia Towne left her farm in Topsfield, Massachusetts, for Chicago in search of better health and an opportunity to support herself. Soon she was teaching, first in night school and then in grammar schools, finding satisfaction and independence in this profession. Over the next fourteen years she wrote home to her mother, Julia Stone Towne; these letters and Julia's letters back to her—the only published collection of sustained correspondence between a nineteenth-century American mother and daughter—create a deep and rich world filled with the ideas, affection, advice, and comfort that each woman gave to the other. Now, more than a hundred years later, Julia and Mary Towne give us new insights into the complexities of life of women in the nineteenth century, into both the interdependence and the autonomy of mothers and daughters, and into the links between their lives and ours.

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