Fanny Fern’s Obscurity and Male Dominance in Literary Circles

Fanny Fern wrote as if the Devil was in her—or so spoke Nathaniel Hawthorne. Born 1811 as Sarah Willis, Fanny Fern was the first female newspaper columnist in the United States, and by 1855, the highest-paid columnist of the 19th century. However, while her contemporaries Thoreau, Whitman, and Emerson are considered household names, Fern’s name is almost shrouded in obscurity. Why?

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