The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mothers Extraordinary Fight against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times

  • Publish Date: 2010-08-10
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Ilyon Woo

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Ilyon Woos The Great Divorce is the dramatic, richly textured story of one of nineteenth-century Americas most infamous divorce cases, in which a young mother single-handedly challenged her countrys notions of womens rights, family, and marriage itself.
In 1814, Eunice Chapman came home to discover that her three children had been carried off by her estranged husband. He had taken them, she learned, to live among a celibate, religious people known as the Shakers. Defying all expectations, this famously petite and lovely woman mounted an an epic campaign against her husband, the Shakers, and the law. In its confrontation of some of the nations most fundamental debatesreligious freedom, feminine virtue, the sanctity of marriageher case struck a nerve with an uncertain new republic. And its culminationin a stunning legislative decision and a terrifying mob attack sent shockwaves through the Shaker community and the nation beyond.
With a novelists eye and a historians perspective, Woo delivers the first full account of Eunice Chapmans remarkable struggle. A moving story about the power of a mothers love, The Great Divorce is also a memorable portrait of a rousing challenge to the values of a young nation.

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