‘I am one of the cracked people of the world,’ Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon wrote of herself, ‘and I like to herd with the cracked … queer Americans, democrats, socialists, artists, poor devils or angels; and am never happy in an English genteel family life. I try to do it like other people, but I long always to be off on some wild adventure.’ Reformer, feminist, free-thinker, later to endow the founding of Girton College, Barbara Bodichon went to the United States on a marriage journey. First published in 1972, her journal of that trip, published in its original form for the first time, contains timely observation and incisive criticism of the American South before the Civil War, and gives a vivid portrait of a lively woman of her times, the friend of George Eliot and other leading figures of her age.
This edition includes a fascinating introduction about the English visitor in the United States, from Dickens to Trollope. There is also a biographical study of Barbara Bodichon herself, giving an account of her life and of the causes, notably Women’s Rights, to which she devoted her time and energy.