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The History of British Women's Writing, 1750-1830

Volume Five

The History of British Women's Writing, 1750-1830 by Jacqueline M. Labbe
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This period witnessed the first full flowering of women's writing in Britain. Building on the success and popularity of earlier poets, novelists, playwrights, and philosophers, British women consolidated their significance as writers in the second half of the long eighteenth century. They participated in movements like Bluestocking intellectualism, abolition, new understandings of class, religion, and childhood. They initiated literary styles like the novel of sensibility, the elegiac sonnet, and the historical romance. Their writing both signalled transitions (from the Enlightenment to Romanticism, from Romanticism to early Victorianism) and transcended conventional literary periodization. The last 25 years of scholarship and textual recovery have overturned the assumption that women wrote unambitiously and mostly anonymously, concentrating on 'feminine' concerns like the family and the home. Instead, an understanding of the period which sees Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Jane Austen as only the more familiar of a host of writers has become standard.
Palgrave Macmillan; August 2010
394 pages; ISBN 9780230297012
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Title: The History of British Women's Writing, 1750-1830
Author: Jacqueline M. Labbe
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