Virtue's Faults: Correspondences in Eighteenth-Century British and French Women's Fiction

Virtue's Faults: Correspondences in Eighteenth-Century British and French Women's Fiction

Virtue's Faults: Correspondences in Eighteenth-Century British and French Women's Fiction

Virtue's Faults: Correspondences in Eighteenth-Century British and French Women's Fiction

Synopsis

Challenging current notions of the transmission of a literary tradition, this study recontextualises the works of neglected eighteenth-century women writers.

Excerpt

When I began the research for this book in 1983, there was still very little in print about or by women writers in the eighteenth century. Over a decade later, they have become the subject of an established field of literary study, which has gone through enormous transformation and growth within that time. The collective effort begun in the 1970's to explore women writers' relation to literary tradition came belatedly to the eighteenth century, but an increasing recognition of the period's importance to the understanding of literature by women is apparent not only in a continuing accumulation of criticism devoted to it, but also in the recent launching of several series for the republication of primary texts.

The first large burst of energy in the study of eighteenth- century women's writing, mostly in English, had an encyclopedic tendency (I am thinking of works of the mid to late 1980's by Dale Spender, Jane Spencer, and Janet Todd, for example). And as Joan Hinde Stewart . . .

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