2010-10-22 / Society

Dr. Anne Firor Scott

From Project Muse

In 1970 Dr. Anne Firor

Scott’s book, The Southern

Lady: From Pedestal to

Politics, 1830–1930, virtually established the modern study of southern women’s history, and it has never gone out of print. Since then, Anne Scott has taught at Duke and all over the world, inspiring legions of younger followers to insist on the importance of women in southern history.

To honor her 80th birthday, the Schlesinger Library for the History of Women in America held a symposium in 2001 in which a number of scholars paid tribute, and Scott reflected on the highlights of her career. This is what she said. “I am not sure why the number 80 seems so weighty, compared with its predecessor or even with its successor. What are the landmark ages? Being old enough to drive? To vote? Or 50? One young friend told me gloomily that after 50 it is all downhill. I could only respond that my resum√© begins at age 50. At any rate, 80 is a good time for putting the pieces together, for trying to make sense of eight decades of life. My title was inspired by the protagonist in Penelope Lively’s novel

Moon Tiger, who says— apropos of her plan to write a history of the world—“My Victorians are not your Victorians.”

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