15 November 1856
TO THOSE WHOM THE CAP FITS.
I have just been reading a very severe criticism, from a London paper, on Miss Warner's last book "The Hills of the Shatemuc." That the London Athenæum, the London Leader, and other kindred papers, should dislike Miss Warner's books, or those of any other American lady-author, whose sympathies are on the side of evangelical religion, is not astonishing when one knows the anti-evangelical views of their editors. The fairness of condemning the book under consideration, and other American lady-books, in toto, for that reason alone is sufficiently transparent. Miss Warner needs, as an author, no praise of mine; but what I would like to ask, is this: Why—the New York paper, in which this severe and most unfair criticism of Miss Warner's book, from a London paper, was copied, is always so lynx-eyed to see, and so ready to pounce upon and pass round, any unfavorable trans-atlantic criticism of an American lady-book, and so very deaf, dumb and blind, when one comes from the same source, about Mr.——'s Poems, Mr.——'s Travels, Mr.——'s novels, or indeed any American male author's book whatsover?
That lady-writers should have found favor with the public—no matter how great and pressing their pecuniary need, seems to have stirred up the bile of more than one pair of corduroys; and yet, despite the sneers of their owners at "female literature," plenty of instances can be cited, in which men (of late) who have been unable to attract attention literarily, in propriæ personæ, have crept under a petticoat to try it in female guise; and what is worse, in this incognita have made our sex answerable, for double-entendres, and vulgarisms of sentiment and expression, from which any true woman would shrink.
Be consistent gentlemen; or if you can't be consistent, be as consistent as you can!
Fanny Fern, "To Those Whom the Cap Fits," The New-York Ledger (15 November 1856): 4
To cite this project:
Fanny Fern, "To Those Whom the Cap Fits," Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2018) http://fannyfern.org.