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Equivocal Beings : Politics, Gender, and Sentimentality in the 1790s--Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, Burney, Austen

By: Johnson, Claudia L.
Contributor(s): Wollstonecraft, Mary | Radcliffe, Ann.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Women in Culture and Society: Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2009Description: 1 online resource (256 p.).ISBN: 9780226401799.Subject(s): Austen, Jane, -- 1775-1817 -- Criticism and interpretation | Burney, Fanny, -- 1752-1840 -- Criticism and interpretation | English fiction -- Women authors -- History and criticism | Politics and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century | Radcliffe, Ann Ward, -- 1764-1823 -- Criticism and interpretation | Wollstonecraft, Mary, -- 1759-1797 -- Criticism and interpretation | Women and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th centuryGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Equivocal Beings : Politics, Gender, and Sentimentality in the 1790s--Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, Burney, AustenDDC classification: 823/.6099287 LOC classification: PR858Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents -- Foreword by Catharine R. Stimpson -- Acknowledgments -- Abbreviations -- Introduction: The Age of Chivalry and the Crisis of Gender -- Part One: Mary Wollstonecraft -- 1 The Distinction of the Sexes: The Vindications -- 2 Embodying the Sentiments: Mary and The Wrongs of Woman -- Part Two: Ann Radcliffe -- 3 Less than Man and More than Woman: The Romance of the Forest -- 4 The Sex of Suffering: The Mysteries of Udolpho -- 5 Losing the Mother in the Judge: The Italian -- Part Three: Frances Burney -- 6 Statues, Idiots, Automatons: Camilla
7 Vindicating the Wrongs of Woman: The Wanderer -- Afterward: Jane Austen -- "Not at all what a man should be!": Remaking English Manhood in Emma -- Notes -- Index
Summary: In the wake of the French Revolution, Edmund Burke argued that civil order depended upon nurturing the sensibility of men-upon the masculine cultivation of traditionally feminine qualities such as sentiment, tenderness, veneration, awe, gratitude, and even prejudice. Writers as diverse as Sterne, Goldsmith, Burke, and Rousseau were politically motivated to represent authority figures as men of feeling, but denied women comparable authority by representing their feelings as inferior, pathological, or criminal. Focusing on Mary Wollstonecraft, Ann Radcliffe, Frances Burney, and Jane Austen, whose popular works culminate and assail this tradition, Claudia L. Johnson examines the legacy male sentimentality left for women of various political persuasions.Demonstrating the interrelationships among politics, gender, and feeling in the fiction of this period, Johnson provides detailed readings of Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, and Burney, and treats the qualities that were once thought to mar their work-grotesqueness, strain, and excess-as indices of ideological conflict and as strategies of representation during a period of profound political conflict. She maintains that the reactionary reassertion of male sentimentality as a political duty displaced customary gender roles, rendering women, in Wollstonecraft's words, "equivocal beings.".
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
PR858 | PR858.W6J6 | PR858.W6J64 1995 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=485971 Available EBL485971
Browsing UT Tyler Online Shelves , Shelving location: Online Close shelf browser
PR853.N49 2011 New Contexts for Eighteenth-Century British Fiction : PR858 Sentimental Memorials : PR858 | PR858.P72 | PR858.P72 S67 2011 | PR858.P72S67 2003 Privacy : PR858 | PR858.W6J6 | PR858.W6J64 1995 Equivocal Beings : PR858.A74 -- E45 2012 Portraiture and British Gothic Fiction : PR858.B63 N37 2012 Falling into matter : PR858.E37 M68 The Age of Reasons

Contents -- Foreword by Catharine R. Stimpson -- Acknowledgments -- Abbreviations -- Introduction: The Age of Chivalry and the Crisis of Gender -- Part One: Mary Wollstonecraft -- 1 The Distinction of the Sexes: The Vindications -- 2 Embodying the Sentiments: Mary and The Wrongs of Woman -- Part Two: Ann Radcliffe -- 3 Less than Man and More than Woman: The Romance of the Forest -- 4 The Sex of Suffering: The Mysteries of Udolpho -- 5 Losing the Mother in the Judge: The Italian -- Part Three: Frances Burney -- 6 Statues, Idiots, Automatons: Camilla

7 Vindicating the Wrongs of Woman: The Wanderer -- Afterward: Jane Austen -- "Not at all what a man should be!": Remaking English Manhood in Emma -- Notes -- Index

In the wake of the French Revolution, Edmund Burke argued that civil order depended upon nurturing the sensibility of men-upon the masculine cultivation of traditionally feminine qualities such as sentiment, tenderness, veneration, awe, gratitude, and even prejudice. Writers as diverse as Sterne, Goldsmith, Burke, and Rousseau were politically motivated to represent authority figures as men of feeling, but denied women comparable authority by representing their feelings as inferior, pathological, or criminal. Focusing on Mary Wollstonecraft, Ann Radcliffe, Frances Burney, and Jane Austen, whose popular works culminate and assail this tradition, Claudia L. Johnson examines the legacy male sentimentality left for women of various political persuasions.Demonstrating the interrelationships among politics, gender, and feeling in the fiction of this period, Johnson provides detailed readings of Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, and Burney, and treats the qualities that were once thought to mar their work-grotesqueness, strain, and excess-as indices of ideological conflict and as strategies of representation during a period of profound political conflict. She maintains that the reactionary reassertion of male sentimentality as a political duty displaced customary gender roles, rendering women, in Wollstonecraft's words, "equivocal beings.".

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Johnson (Princeton Univ.) argues that the 1790s idealization of "sentimental man" profoundly unsettled notions of gender. Men appropriated traits traditionally assigned to women (tenderness, sensitivity), effectively displacing women, who became hyperfeminine or took on traditional male traits only to be condemned as unsexed, "equivocal beings." Sentimentality subverted old roles and offered women neither empowerment nor equality. Johnson studies how Mary Wollstonecraft, Ann Radcliffe, and Fanny Burney responded, in their novels, to the gender roles imposed by sentimentality. In Maria or, The Wrongs of Woman Wollstonecraft begins to imagine a life for women outside the straitjacket of sentimental heterosexuality. Burney and Radcliffe are ambivalent and do not ultimately challenge the underlying social and political structures--rendering their fiction aesthetically flawed and ideologically incoherent. Johnson's overview of the political and ideological issues of the period is convincing; her reading of the novels is less so. She uses much more critical jargon than she did in her excellent first book, Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel (CH, Jan'89), which explored similar themes more effectively. Even in this study, her brief epilogue on Austen is the strongest section. Graduate and research collections.

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