Empowering the Feminine: The Narratives of Mary Robinson, Jane West, and Amelia Opie, 1796-1812

By Eleanor Ty

© 1999

Mary Robinson, a fantastic beauty and popular actress, and once lover of the Prince of Wales, received the epithet 'the English Sappho' for her lyric verse. Amelia Opie, a member of the fashionable literary society and later a Quaker, included amongst her friends Sydney Smith, Byron, and Scott, and reputedly refused Godwin's marriage proposal out of admiration for Mary Wollstonecraft. Jane West, who tended her household and dairy while writing prolifically to support her children, was in direct opposition to the radically feminist ideas preceding her. These authors, each from different ideological and social backgrounds, all grappled with a desire for empowerment. Writing in an atmosphere hardened towards reform in response to the French revolution's upheavals, these women focus their narratives on typically feminine attitudes - docility, maternal feeling, heightened sensibility (that key word of the period). Their focus invested these attitudes with new meaning, making supposed female weaknesses potentially active forces for social change.

Eleanor Ty's convincing argument, arrived at through close readings of ten key texts, is an important addition to the recent spate of publications which bring to the fore neglected women authors whose fascinating lives and works greatly enrich our understanding of the late eighteenth century and British Romanticism.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 236 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 0.9in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP001056

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1998

    From: $50.25

    Regular Price: $67.00

    ISBN 9780802043627
  • PUBLISHED JAN 1999

    From: $59.25

    Regular Price: $79.00

Quick Overview

Ty examines three late 18th century female authors coming from different social backgrounds but all grappling with a desire for female empowerment to show how supposed female weaknesses were portrayed as potentially active forces for social change.

Empowering the Feminine: The Narratives of Mary Robinson, Jane West, and Amelia Opie, 1796-1812

By Eleanor Ty

© 1999

Mary Robinson, a fantastic beauty and popular actress, and once lover of the Prince of Wales, received the epithet 'the English Sappho' for her lyric verse. Amelia Opie, a member of the fashionable literary society and later a Quaker, included amongst her friends Sydney Smith, Byron, and Scott, and reputedly refused Godwin's marriage proposal out of admiration for Mary Wollstonecraft. Jane West, who tended her household and dairy while writing prolifically to support her children, was in direct opposition to the radically feminist ideas preceding her. These authors, each from different ideological and social backgrounds, all grappled with a desire for empowerment. Writing in an atmosphere hardened towards reform in response to the French revolution's upheavals, these women focus their narratives on typically feminine attitudes - docility, maternal feeling, heightened sensibility (that key word of the period). Their focus invested these attitudes with new meaning, making supposed female weaknesses potentially active forces for social change.

Eleanor Ty's convincing argument, arrived at through close readings of ten key texts, is an important addition to the recent spate of publications which bring to the fore neglected women authors whose fascinating lives and works greatly enrich our understanding of the late eighteenth century and British Romanticism.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 236 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 0.9in x 9.3in
  • Author Information

    Eleanor Ty is a professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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