SOLD 600,000 COPIES: At its time of publication in 1868, the book was the second bestseller in the country behind Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
CIVIL WAR CLASSICS: The book is an ideal complement to our other American Civil War Penguin Classics such as the Portable Abraham Lincoln and Mary Chesnut’s Diary, and is often compared to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Little Women.
STRONG APPARATUS: The scholars will provide an illuminating introduction, suggestions for further exploration detailing the many cultural touchstones the book has inspired, and excerpts from Phelps’s memoir.
WIDE APPEAL: The Gates Ajar will appeal to readers interested in the American Civil War, US religion, death and grief, feminism, and women writers. It also has the potential for a strong following among evangelicals, as it is seen as a precursor to mega-bestsellers like The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Heaven is for Real.
FEMINIST AUTHOR: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps is considered an early feminist writer based on her outspoken activism and focus on improving the lives of women, which is why she wrote The Gates Ajar.
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