Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844 - 1911)
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward (1844–1911) was an American author and reformer. She was one of the first American feminist authors and intellectuals to publish several books that challenged traditional Calvinist upbringing. Immediately after the Civil War, she published The Gates Ajar in 1868. It interpreted the afterlife as a place where families meet and live together rather than meet God and was tremendously popular. In her 40s, she broke convention again when she married a man 17 years her junior. Later in life she became one of the first advocates for clothing reform for women, urging them to burn their corsets. Her later work focused on feminine ideals and women's financial dependence on men in marriage. She was the first woman to present a lecture series at Boston University. During her lifetime she was the author of 57 volumes of fiction, poetry and essays.
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