Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (885 words)

Terry Novak (Johnson and Wales University)
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Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted is, to date, Frances E. W. Harper’s best known work of fiction. The novel, written in the sentimental style so popular with nineteenth century American women writers, tackles several issues that were of extreme importance to Harper. True to her time and to the philosophy of the Cult of True Womanhood, Harper deals extensively with Christianity and the role of the good Christian woman. On the other hand, Harper also preaches on the importance of women’s self-sufficiency and independence. Most critical to her story is the race question. Harper addresses such critical issues as the color line, miscegenation, abolition, reconstruction, education, social responsibility, and suffrage for the African-A…

Citation: Novak, Terry. "Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 July 2002; last revised 02 July 2007. [, accessed 14 June 2021.]

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