While dress is but one way of entering into a text, and a small point of entry at that, analysis of dress in Richardson's novels provides us with insights into the nature of novel writing in eighteenth-century England; into the nature of Richardson's novelistic project of constructing a legible domestic feminine body whose signification remains stable; and into the paradox that Richardson's ideal, sensible (as possessed of sensibility) female body is ultimately coded as male. It also calls into question the whole construct of the 'domestic woman' and what this construct means in terms of bourgeois ideology: Is the ideal domestic woman merely a man in drag?
Palgrave Macmillan; May 2008
- ISBN 9780230584624
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Samuel Richardson, Dress, and Discourse
- Author: Kathleen M. Oliver
Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
About The Author
KATHLEEN M. OLIVER is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Central Florida, USA, where she specializes in British Literature of the long eighteenth century. Previous and forthcoming publications include essays on Daniel Defoe, Sarah Fielding, Samuel Richardson and Frances Sheridan.