Paperback and E-Editions of Engaging Italy also available!

Engaging Italy: American Women’s Utopian Visions and Transnational Networks

(Available now from SUNY Press)

American women abroad have often been more than tourists. Engaging Italy depicts the intertwined lives of three now-little-known figures—Caroline Crane Marsh, Anne Hampton Brewster and Emily Bliss Gould—whose paths crossed as they lived abroad for more than fifteen years. These women seized opportunities to be engaged in the political changes of the 1860s and 70s known as Italian Unification.

Order through Pagination Bookshop to request a signed copy from Etta. Or, reach out to schedule a book talk in your area and SUNY Press will have copies available for sale and signature. 

Review copies are also available here.

What Readers Are Saying About Engaging Italy

“an impressive synthesis of substantial archival work and
extensive research into C19 women’s literary and reform history.”

“accessible, lively prose and engaging storytelling brings these women and their experiences to life and makes the case for their significance . . . .The book is theoretically informed, but Madden avoids jargon-laden prose.”

Recent News

New essay on Man & Nature (1864)

This summer a journal of the University of Florence published Writing Man and Nature (1864) in Italy: The photo depicts the Villa Forini in Florence, where George and Caroline Marsh lived after completing the work on this foundational book on human-environmental relations.

In the Steps of St. Catherine & St. Francis

A June small group trip featured time in Rome, Assisi, and Siena, tracking several medieval and early Christian saints and martyrs. Read more about that trip here.

A St. Louis Saga

In the spring the Missouri Humanities magazine published "Circuitous Routes: A St. Louis Saga." The short article focuses on the marriage of New Englander Lucy Crane and German Friedrich Wislizenus, who met in Washington, DC, and married in the Ottoman Empire in 1850 before settling in Missouri in 1852.

Library Company of Philadelphia Fireside Chat

The Library Company of Philadelphia began its 2023 Fireside Chat series with Etta's talk, Mr. Kate Cromo: News Correspondent Anne Hampton Brewster in Rome, 1869-1890.  The talk was recorded and is available on Youtube here.

Unsung History Podcast

For the January 25, 2023 Unsung History podcast, Kelly Therese Pollack interviewed Etta about Engaging Italy: what drove her to write it, why the three women in it interest her, and literature intertwines with history. Of course, she touches upon why this 19th-century story matters today. Listen anywhere you get your podcasts, or here.

Location, Location, Location! Networks and Making Home Abroad

A blog published in December by SUNY Press on the importance of place and making home for the women in Engaging Italy. Read the blog here. (This map from the Keats-Shelley House near Rome's Spanish Steps is used with permission.)

Let's Talk Books Webinar

In November Etta was a guest on the Let's Talk Books series with Dr. Lynn Domina of Northern Michigan University. A recording of this talk is available on Youtube through this link.

Writing as Therapy

Etta was a guest on the ReConceive podcast series, Who Helps the Helper, with Dr. Deborah Cox and Tracy Maxfield. Their topic, which aired first on October 4, 2022: “The (Happier) Therapist Who Writes.” You can listen wherever you get your podcasts, or check this link!

Fighting with Her Pen: Emily Bliss Gould

Here's a link to a September 30 blog Etta wrote for History in the Margins, thanks to an invitation from historian and author Pamela Toler. The blog features Emily Bliss Gould, one of the three fascinating women featured in Engaging Italy: American Women's Utopian Visions and Transnational Networks. Gould fought with her pen and her passions on behalf of education for youth in Italy, 1865-1875.

Preparing for Podcasts!

Etta has been busy recording podcasts about Engaging Italy and women within it. The first of these is scheduled to air on October 11, 2022, with Amy Helmes & Kim Askew on Lost Ladies of Lit. You can listen wherever you get your podcasts!

Just out for Women's History Month

"Trailing Spouse or Career Carver?" A blog featuring Engaging Italy, posted by SUNY Press, March 20, 2022

"Little Known Women"

A blog featuring 19th-century journalist Anne Hampton Brewster, posted by Missouri State University, February 3, 2022