Private Interests: Women, Portraiture, and the Visual Culture of the English Novel, 1709-1791

By Alison Conway

© 2001

This ambitious interdisciplinary study undertakes a new definition of the eighteenth-century novel's investment in vision and visual culture, tracing the relationship between the development of the novel and that of the equally contentious genre of the portrait, particularly as represented in the novel itself. Working with the novels of Richardson, Fielding, Haywood, Manley, Sterne, Wollstonecraft and Inchbald, and the portraits of Reynolds, Gainsborough, Highmore, Hudson, Hogarth, and others, Private Interests points to the intimate connections between the literary works and the paintings. Arguing that the novel's representation of the portrait sustains a tension between competing definitions of private interests, Conway shows how private interests are figured as simultaneously decorous and illicit in the novel, with the portrait at once an instrument of propriety and of scandal. Examining women's roles as both authors of and characters in the novel and the novel's encounters with the portrait, the author provides a new definition of private interests, one which highlights the development of women's agency as both spectacles and spectators.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 9239

Book Formats

SKU# SP000495

  • PUBLISHED NOV 2019

    From: $29.96

    Regular Price: $39.95

    ISBN 9781487525446
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2001

    From: $68.25

    Regular Price: $91.00

    ISBN 9780802035264
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2001

    From: $78.75

    Regular Price: $105.00

Quick Overview

This study undertakes a new definition of the 18th-century novel’s investment in visual culture, tracing the relationship between the development of the novel and that of the portrait, particularly as represented in the novel itself.

Private Interests: Women, Portraiture, and the Visual Culture of the English Novel, 1709-1791

By Alison Conway

© 2001

This ambitious interdisciplinary study undertakes a new definition of the eighteenth-century novel's investment in vision and visual culture, tracing the relationship between the development of the novel and that of the equally contentious genre of the portrait, particularly as represented in the novel itself. Working with the novels of Richardson, Fielding, Haywood, Manley, Sterne, Wollstonecraft and Inchbald, and the portraits of Reynolds, Gainsborough, Highmore, Hudson, Hogarth, and others, Private Interests points to the intimate connections between the literary works and the paintings. Arguing that the novel's representation of the portrait sustains a tension between competing definitions of private interests, Conway shows how private interests are figured as simultaneously decorous and illicit in the novel, with the portrait at once an instrument of propriety and of scandal. Examining women's roles as both authors of and characters in the novel and the novel's encounters with the portrait, the author provides a new definition of private interests, one which highlights the development of women's agency as both spectacles and spectators.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Author Information

    Alison Conway is Professor of English and Cultural Studies, and of Gender and Women's Studies, at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan.

By the Same Author(s)

Related Titles