volume 21, issue 1, P57 2010
DOI: 10.5325/utopianstudies.21.1.0057
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Richard M. Marshall

Abstract: Th is article examines the disparity between fi ctional and historical accounts of Shaker women. Th e fi ction, infl uenced by pervading social beliefs like the cult of true womanhood, usually portrays a woman who becomes dissatisfi ed with her Shaker life, concluding that it is a sort of living death that isolates her from love, marriage, and motherhood. Historical records reveal independent and fulfi lled women who became Shakers for religious reasons but also for secular opportunities unknown in the outside…

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