The Interlacing of History and Fiction in to have and to Hold (1900), by Mary Johnston
Beatrice Uber, Gilmei Francisco Fleck

The fictionist Mary Johnston, in the literary piece To Have and to Hold (1900), approaches the theme of the insertion of white European women during the colonization process in the United States of America in the seventeenth century. According to the historiographic discourse, these women had the duty of marrying white colonists and bearing their children as well. The North American Literature took advantage of such event and recreated the fact in fiction. In the novel, the story is told by a first-person narrator, the settler represented as Ralph Percy, who finds himself a maid coming from England in the seventeenth century, around 1620s. Based upon this context, we propose an analysis that emphasizes the coming of these women to marry unknown settlers and to present the portrayed image of such women, who were sometimes called “tobacco wives”, observing if the fictional discourse follows the historiographical one or if it differs from it in any way.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v5n1a4