Revising Women: Eighteenth-Century "Women's Fiction" and Social Engagement

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9780801870958: Revising Women: Eighteenth-Century

Revising Women is a collection of essays by a distinguished group of feminist critics. Each essay is a contribution to the history of the English novel, to our understanding of literature's place in cultural debate, and to women's studies. The essays give steady attention to the ways novels participate in social processes and the ways women perceived the public sphere and stubbornly attempted to participate in it. Rich contextualization and adept use of theory reveal both the individual writer's story and the story beneath the text that is a cultural production with the potential to reveal why we and our society are as we are. Each essay develops ways of using history in relation to literature, takes up large historical events and issues, and interprets in fine detail what individuals do with them. Beginning with the fictions of the late seventeenth century, and ending with Maria Edgeworth and Jane Austen, the essays in Revising Women are characterized by informed historicizing, detailed textual explication, sophisticated feminist theory, and dedicated attention to the interrelationships between life and literary works and between everyday existence and political processes.

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About the Author:

Paula R. Backscheider is West Point Pepperell-Philpott Eminent Scholar in the Department of English at Auburn University. Her books include Daniel Defoe: His Life and Spectacular Politics: Theatrical Power and Mass Culture in Early Modern England, both available from Johns Hopkins.

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"This well-conceived and exciting book brings together experts in feminist theory, all of whom utilize with sophistication the skills of historical research, biographical interpretation (including post-modern issues of the construction of the self), and cultural studies. Their names alone insure a volume well worth reading, and these essays represent the writers at their best. Their methodology often represents advances in the application and understanding of feminist theory, and is of interest to all who follow developments in that field." -- Patricia Craddock, University of Florida

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