Especially impressive is the innovative structure of this work, which interlaces the tasks of literary and cultural historian, editor, and literary critic. . . . Where My Heart Is Turning Ever
is at once an impressive study and a genuinely good read.
—Priscilla Wald, Journal of American History
By examining congressional debates alongside magazine fiction, Diffley shows that they inhabited the same rhetorical universe and underwent similar evolutions.
—Stuart McConnell, American Historical Review
An original attempt to connect the popular fiction with the definitions of liberty that emerged from the war. . . . Writ large, Diffley essentially wants to explain how the destruction of slavery did not also lead to the legal emancipation and enfranchisement of women.
—Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
Timely and much-needed . . . Diffley deserves much praise for calling attention to this long-forgotten literature and its unprecedented examination.
—Jacquelyn S. Nelson, Historian
Rigorously researched and elegantly written . . . In her close and quite scholarly analysis, Diffley suggests that three thematic genres defined the period: 'Old Homestead' narratives, 'Romances,' and 'Adventures.'
—David Abrahamson, Journalism History
An extremely well-crafted study, concentrating on some three hundred narratives.
—S. M. Grant, Journal of American Studies
Scholars have largely accepted the idea that not much fiction came out of the Civil War. In part, that judgment has always meant fiction that critics consider worthy of treatment as outstanding literature. But to a degree it has also been taken literally as meaning not much fiction was written. Fortunately, Diffley's work will forever explode that myth.
—Louis P. Masur, Reviews in American History
A corrective to the all-too-common view that little significant literature emerged in response to the American Civil War.
—Timothy Sweet, College Literature