A Life of the Mind
by Margaret Carpenter Evans
The story of Rosemond Tuve, a remarkable woman scholar, who began her life in 1903 on the vast plains of South Dakota and rose to honor and acclaim here and abroad, is told through letters, diaries, and lectures. Among her many accomplishments, she was the first woman to lecture in the English departments of Harvard and Princeton.
A reading of Tuve's life is a reflection on education and the rewards of the life of the mind. It also portrays a woman's struggles to rise to the top of a male-dominated profession.
“Rosemond Tuve was one of the first women to surmount the challenge of becoming (as she put it) ‘a girl Ph.D.’ at a time when the academy was clubby and almost entirely male. Controversial and charismatic, she swept all before her—and does so again in these pages. Skillfully woven together by Margaret Evans, this is a book to be savored.”
—V.A. Kolve, UCLA Foundation Professor of English, Emeritus
“Readers familiar with Rosemond Tuve’s scholarship will be grateful for this beautifully written biography, which adds an important dimension to our understanding of this remarkable woman. Readers unfamiliar with Tuve’s work will delight in Margaret Evans’ reliance on correspondence and diaries to present the portrait of a lively and fun-loving individual who achieved impressive international success at a time when the glass ceiling limited women’s careers. . . . rich with insight and warmth.”
—George J. Willauer, Professor Emeritus of English, Charles J. MacCurdy Professor Emeritus of American Studies, Connecticut College
“Rosemond Tuve was . . . a memorable teacher and a literary scholar of the first magnitude. She opened new avenues to the study of imagery in Renaissance English poetry. Evans has captured her craggy and often impish personality and suggests in this sensitive and perceptive biography the dimension of her achievement. This book leaves one under the spell of an irresistible human being who ‘lived in a continual state of exaltation’ and could ‘mesmerize and transport us to her world of transcendence.’ Tuve stood before the universe in wonder, and it was her intent to ‘transmit somehow a little bit of this vision’ to her students.”
—Robert E. L. Strider, president of Colby College, 1960–1979
“Tuve revealed to her students an extraordinary view of her own life of the mind through lively, penetrating discussions of Milton, Spencer, Herbert, and many others. She believed that education should be a series of transformative experiences, and Margaret Evans has captured her essence in this welcome biography.”
—Brian Rogers, college librarian (1975-1993) and special collections librarian (1993-1999), Connecticut College
“Why should the life of Rosemond Tuve (1903-1964) compel an audience now? . . . A pioneering woman and towering intellect in a field of expertise dominated by men, Tuve was also for decades a mentor and supporter of education for working women . . . In larger part, however, her life is worthy of remembrance because . . . of the luminousness of her spirit. Evans’ Rosemond Tuve: A Life of the Mind re-presents what Tuve’s beloved author John Milton might call ‘the precious lifeblood of a master spirit’ (Areopagitica).”
—Kathleen Swaim, Professor of English, Emerita, University of Massachusetts Amherst
About the Author
Margaret Evans was born in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. After graduating from Connecticut College she attended Columbia University, receiving a Masters Degree in Renaissance Literature. At B. Altman & Co. she wrote advertising for New York newspapers and later served as acting editor of the Clinton Courier in Clinton, New York, contributing weekly columns. Her first published article, “The Luminous Life of Rosemond Tuve,” appeared in the Connecticut College Alumni Magazine, Fall, 1980. As a professional horsewoman, she taught equitation and trained hunters and jumpers. She has four grown children and lives in Hartland, Vermont.
Biography. $25.00, 6" x 9", 325 pages, 9 black and white photographs, cloth,
Margaret C. Evans
358 Town Farm Hill Rd.
Hartland, VT 05048
Phone: (802) 436-2409