It’s getting harder and harder to trailblaze in the field of American Studies. More and more, writers have to follow paths created by others, imposing new interpretations on old ones in never-ending cycles of revision. But Jonathan Daniel Wells did find something new: Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South (Cambridge UP, 2011; paperback, 2013) is the first to focus in on women journalists, both black and white, in the nineteenth-century American South. The South had a vital periodical marketplace where curious women could engage with politics, belles lettres, science, diplomacy, and other allegedly unfeminine subjects. Examining evidence from both writers and readers, Wells’s book asks questions about literary culture, celebrity, the limits of dissent, and North-South differences that readers will find refreshing and engaging.