Women, Revolution, and the Novels of the 1790s

By Linda Lang-Peralta | Go to book overview

Revolutionary Domesticity in Charlotte Smith's Desmond

Katherine Binhammer

C harlotte Smith prefaces Desmond ( 1792), a sentimental novel set during the French Revolution, by defending her right as a female novelist to take on public and political topics: "But women it is said have no business with politics--Why not?--Have they not?-Have they no interest in the scenes that are acting around them, in which they have fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, or friends engaged?" (iii). Women's business in politics stems, for Smith, from the business of familial relations. Smith's argument follows a common trajectory in radical feminist writings from the 1790s: women's political subjectivity is a necessary antecedent to the proper fulfilment of their domestic role. Wollstonecraft, in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman ( 1792)--a text addressed to revolutionary leaders in France--makes an identical argument: "make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will quickly become good wives, and mothers" (250). Positing women's political role as a prerequisite to, and extension of, her domestic role was a common route used by women to declare their place in the public world of the French Revolution. Joan Landes, in her influential study Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the Revolution ( 1988), notes the importance of the "ideology of Republican Motherhood" for women's political identity. But Landes and others have argued that the notion of Republican Motherhood, far from enfranchising women, actually facilitated their exclusion from political activity. Landes

-25-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Women, Revolution, and the Novels of the 1790s
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 192

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.