Women Critics, 1660-1820: An Anthology (Hardback)Folger Collective on Early Women Critics (author)
Hardback Published: 01/06/1995
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The eighteenth century saw the formation of criticism as a genre in European discourse. This anthology vividly demonstrates that women participated in the construction of this genre from the very startNalthough their critical work has been largely been absent from both histories of criticism and histories of early womenOs writing. The Folger Collective on Early Women Critics has selected writings by forty-one of the women who produced criticism between 1660 and 1820, including writers from England, France, Germany, and the United States. While this anthology includes the work of better-known writersNsuch as Aphra Behn, Charlotte Lennox, Mary Wollestonecraft, Germaine de Sta'l, and Jane AustenNit consists primarily of newly recovered material representing a spectrum of topics, theories, and critical practices. These texts come from an array of genres: some criticism is embedded in plays, novels, and poems, while other selections take the form of dialogues between fictional characters or appear in the private vehicles of letters and diaries. Much of the material, however, takes conventional critical formsNsubstantive introductions and prefaces, periodical essays, and book-length treatises. These critics were deeply engaged in the literary and cultural life of their time, and pursued a variety of issues in their criticism of fiction, drama, and poetryNincluding political commentary; speculations on the moral effects novels or plays; links between representation and social reality; and relationships of literature and criticism to social and national history. This unique anthology fills a gap in literary history and testifies to the powerful cultural messages inherent in the very acts of reading and writing. These primary texts are a means through which students and scholars may explore new visions of women, literature, and criticism and reshape our understanding of the 160-year period that coincides with the development of print culture and of modern gender identity. The Folger Collective has included a general introduction and bibliography, as well as brief biographical introductions for individual entries.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Weight: 500 g
Dimensions: 242 x 158 x 30 mm
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