Fanny Fern

Portrait of Sara Payson Parton, known as Fanny Fern, 1866
Figure 1: “Sara Payson Parton, known as Fanny Fern, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing left”, 1866,

Sarah Willis Parton, more commonly known as Fanny Fern, was a famous and well-paid writer in the 19th century. Fern’s work gained attention because of the topics she addressed, and the manner in which she addressed them. She wrote to inform her audience of the reform that was needed in a multitude of areas in the 19th century. Fern focused on gender inequality, suffrage, divorce law, prison reform, and the poor. These themes are found throughout “Hungry Husbands,” “Male Criticism on Ladies’ Books,” and two chapters from Fern’s most famous piece, Ruth Hall. Although each piece differs in its own way, the voice she uses in all of her writing presents her ideas to her audience in a way that no one had seen before then. Continue reading Fanny Fern