Incarnations of fatal women, or femmes fatales, recur throughout the works of women writers in the Romantic period. Adriana Craciun demonstrates how portrayals of femmes fatales played an important role in the development of Romantic women's poetic identities and informed their exploration of issues surrounding the body, sexuality, and politics. Craciun covers a wide range of writers and genres from the 1790s through the 1830s. She discusses the work of well-known figures including MaryWollstonecraft, as well as lesser-known writers such as Anne Bannerman. By examining women writers' fatal women in historical, political, and medical contexts, Craciun uncovers a far-ranging debate on sexual difference. She also engages with current research on the history of the body and sexuality, providing an important historical precedent for modern feminist theory's ongoing dilemma regarding the status of “woman” as a sex.
ADRIANA CRACIUN is lecturer in English and Director of the Centre for Byron Studies at the University of Nottingham. She is the editor of Zofloya, or the Moor (1997) and A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (2002), and co-editor of Rebellious Hearts:British WomenWriters and the French Revolution (2001).