This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

"Yr most obedt. Servt.": Eliza Lucas's Epistolary Voice and the Construction of a Southern Female Identity




Iden, Kirsten

Type of Degree





Since the first publication of her Letterbook in 1972, Eliza Lucas Pinckney has become one of the most anthologized southern women of America’s early history. In addition to making an appearance in almost every historical and literary anthology of South Carolina, Lucas Pinckney’s popularity also extends into many anthologies of early southern and early women’s literature. Her letters show a woman who is using her position, both socially and within the family, to subtly challenge conventional gender limitations. In doing so, Lucas Pinckney attempts to articulate a female subject position which is distinct from that of men, yet always in dialogue with the other sex. On a larger scale, through an explication of Lucas Pinckney’s work, this thesis will create new paradigms for discussing the unique features of early southern women’s writing.