My name is Paul Jones, and I’m a Professor of English at Ohio University, where I teach classes primarily about nineteenth-century American literature. While I’ve written about many American authors from that period, including Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, and Herman Melville (see my academic cv for selected list of publications), the author who has continually been the focus of my research interest since my grad school days has been the best-selling novelist, E. D. E. N. Southworth (her initials stand for Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte). I first came across her name in 1995 when I was researching for a paper subject for a seminar on southern women writers, and I quickly checked out her best-known novel, The Hidden Hand (the only one of her works available in a modern edition at the time) from the university library.  With that novel, I was hooked.  Since then I’ve been reading, collecting, and writing about Southworth’s works with a passion.

My publications about Southworth include:

“This Dainty Woman’s Hand . . . Red with Blood:’ E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Hidden Hand as Abolitionist Narrative,” ATQ 15 (March 2001): 59-80.

“Burning Mrs. Southworth: True Womanhood and the Intertext of Ellen Glasgow’s Virginia,” Southern Literary Journal 37 (Fall 2004): 25-40.

“‘I put my fingers around my throat and squeezed it, to know how it feels’: Anti-Gallows Sentimentalism and E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Hidden Hand,” Legacy 25 (2008): 41-61.

“Revising Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Sympathy, the State, and the Role of Women in E.D.E.N. Southworth’s The Lost Heiress,”  E.D.E.N. Southworth: Recovering the Career of a 19th-Century Popular Novelist, eds. Melissa Homestead and Pam Washington, Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2012. 183-204.

“‘Her Little Maid Mandy’: The Abolitionist Slave Owner and the Rhetoric of Affection in the Life and Early Fiction of E. D. E. N. Southworth,” J19 2.1 (2014): 59-88.

The ATQ essay appears in revised and expanded form as a book chapter in my first book, Unwelcome Voices: Subversive Fiction in the Antebellum South (Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2005). And, the Legacy article appears in revised and expanded form in my recent book, Against the Gallows: Antebellum American Writers and the Movement to Abolish Capital Punishment (Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2011).

Currently, I’m working on a book-length study exclusively about Southworth, her life, and her fiction. However, in the nineteen years since I’ve been researching Southworth’s life and writing, I have discovered all sorts of things that aren’t really substantial enough to become academic articles nor are they likely to fit into the book in progress.  I thought a blog might be a good place to share some of these discoveries with other Southworth readers, scholars, and fans.  That, then, is the plan for this blog: periodically, I’ll share some tidbits about Southworth and her world.  We’ll see where this takes me.

Citation: If you end up referencing or quoting any of my writing from this blog in your own work, please cite Paul Christian Jones as the author and this blog, Southworthiana, as the place of publication.

One Response to “About”

  1. Michelle Ivy Johnson Says:

    HI Dr. Jones,

    I have enjoyed your research on Southworth, specifically her advocating reform in capital punishment. I am currently in grad school in Charleston, S.C. and recently read The Hidden Hand for the first time. I decided to write my final paper on Southworth’s influence regarding capital punishment in the 19th century since it seemed so important yet very unacknowledged(except for your article). I am wondering if in your research you have found Southworth had any personal attachment to the issue? I wanted to know why she felt strongly about the reform. The answer may be obvious but I am curious if she was affected personally in some way or if she just felt it was the right thing to do. I also want to answer the question of what reform could be related to literature during that time so that I can explain why Southworth including this issue in her literature is important to my classmates. I see your new book would be an ideal resource but it is not available yet 😦


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