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The Frontier ClubPopular Westerns and Cultural Power, 1880-1924$
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Christine Bold

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731794.001.0001

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Women in the Frontier Club

Women in the Frontier Club

(p.96) 3 Women in the Frontier Club
The Frontier Club

Christine Bold

Oxford University Press

Chapter Three considers ways in which this quintessentially masculine genre is a woman’s story. It identifies the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and female mentors of frontier clubmen without whom the modern western as we know it would not have been made. All provided crucial material, social, and literary support; some—such as Margaret Terry Chanler, Corinne Roosevelt, and Elizabeth Grinnell—also published their own work. A particularly talented group shaped Wister’s work and his authorial persona: it included his grandmother, the actress Fanny Kemble; his mother, writer and salonnière Sarah Butler Wister; his mentor and first dean of Radcliffe College, Agnes Irwin, and her sisters; his daughter and editor, Frances Kemble Wister Stokes; and, most significantly, his wife—Civic Clubwoman, municipal activist, writer, and mother, Mary Channing (Molly) Wister. The chapter also examines Wister’s literary manuscripts for his developing representation of women, especially Molly Wister as the fictional Molly Wood.

Keywords:   women, frontier club wives, female mentors, Margaret Terry Chanler, Sarah Butler Wister, Agnes Irwin, Mary Channing (Molly) Wister, Civic Club, Owen Wister’s manuscripts, Molly Wood

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