Texas Women
Their Histories, Their Lives

Edited by Elizabeth Hayes Turner, Stephanie Cole, and Rebecca Sharpless

Life-and-times histories of women from Texas


"Turner, Cole and Sharpless are to be applauded for including biographical subjects that reflect the enormous racial, class, and religious diversity of Texas. Taken as a whole, this volume offers significant insights into the complex ways that Texas's position on the margins of the United States has shaped a particular kind of gendered experience there."
—Melissa Walker, author of Southern Farmers and Their Stories

"This book is a captivating journey of resilient women. For those who study women’s history, [the] book will add immeasurable resources to your collection; for those who casually acknowledge the role of women in the state’s history, this book will blow your mind. While that last statement is not an accepted scholarly way of expressing praise for a long overdue study of women’s place in the state’s history, it is the most appropriate. . . . [Texas Women] will appeal to anyone with a love of history. There is no doubt that [the work] will be a required text in women’s studies, as well as one that is enjoyed outside of academia. It will also become the very high bar that generations of authors will aim to reach in years to come."
—Debbie Liles, Panhandle Plains Historical Review

"For anyone interested in the real women who built Texas while struggling against long odds, it is revelatory reading."
—Joyce Sáenz Harris, Dallas Morning News

"Indispensable for anyone interested in the history of the Lone Star State."

“The essays are all well grounded in primary source research ranging from translated letters from the eighteenth century to oral histories from the twentieth century. . . . Perhaps potential future volumes will focus more on Texas’s earlier women, but the current one remains a worthwhile addition to the series.”
—Jonathan D. Sarnoff, The Journal of Southern History

We view Alexander Gardner’s famous 1865 close-up portrait of Lincoln, Mathew Brady’s portrait of Ulysses S. Grant in 1864 after the Battle of Cold Harbor, Robert E. Lee on his horse Traveler, and Jeb Stuart in Confederate finery; in the accompanying essays we witness the rapture that these figures continue to cultivate in contemporary viewers. . . . Reading such entries, one is constantly reminded of the Roland Barthes’s claim that photographs can carry a punctum, the tiny, almost-incidental details within pictures that rivet the gaze and become deeply mesmerizing and achingly personal."
—Cynthia E. Orozco, The Journal of American History

“Co-winner of the 2016 Liz Carpenter Award from the Texas State Historical Association, Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives represents the best of its genre: ambitious, representative, revealing, and eminently readable. It is a milestone…This collection reflects its maturity and robust health, the wealth of its subject matter, and its sizable pool of practitioners.”
—Nancy Baker Jones, Southwestern Historical Quarterly

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Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives engages current scholarship on women in Texas, the South, and the United States. It provides insights into Texas’s singular geographic position, bordering on the West and sharing a unique history with Mexico, while analyzing the ways in which Texas stories mirror a larger American narrative. The biographies and essays illustrate an uncommon diversity among Texas women, reflecting experiences ranging from those of dispossessed enslaved women to wealthy patrons of the arts. That history also captures the ways in which women’s lives reflect both personal autonomy and opportunities to engage in the public sphere. From the vast spaces of northern New Spain and the rural counties of antebellum Texas to the growing urban centers in the post–Civil War era, women balanced traditional gender and racial prescriptions with reform activism, educational enterprise, and economic development.

Contributors to Texas Women address major questions in women’s history, demonstrating how national and regional themes in the scholarship on women are answered or reconceived in Texas. Texas women negotiated significant boundaries raised by gender, race, and class. The writers address the fluid nature of the border with Mexico, the growing importance of federal policies, and the eventual reforms engendered by the civil rights movement. From Apaches to astronauts, from pioneers to professionals, from rodeo riders to entrepreneurs, and from Civil War survivors to civil rights activists, the subjects of Texas Women offer important contributions to Texas history, women’s history, and the history of the nation.

Southern Women: Their Lives and Times

Page count: 464 pp.
19 b&w photos, 2 maps, 2 tables
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $89.95

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List price: $32.95

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Elizabeth Hayes Turner is a professor of history at the University of North Texas. Stephanie Cole is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington. Rebecca Sharpless is an associate professor of history at Texas Christian University.