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The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing in the Romantic Period


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Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Stephen C. Behrendt, Anthony Mandal, Catherine Burroughs, Anne Mellor, Angela Wright, Elizabeth A. Fay, Crystal Lake, Catherine Ingrassia, Caroline Franklin, Deirdre Coleman, Julie A. Carlson, Jacqueline M. Labbe, Devoney Looser, Fiona Price, Jillian Heydt-Stevenson
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  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107602557

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About the Authors
  • The Romantic period saw the first generations of professional women writers flourish in Great Britain. Literary history is only now giving them the attention they deserve, for the quality of their writings and for their popularity in their own time. This collection of new essays by leading scholars explores the challenges and achievements of this fascinating set of women writers, including Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ann Radcliffe, Hannah More, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Shelley alongside many lesser-known female authors writing and publishing during this period. Chapters consider major literary genres, including poetry, fiction, drama, travel writing, histories, essays, and political writing, as well as topics such as globalization, colonialism, feminism, economics, families, sexualities, aging, and war. The volume shows how gender intersected with other aspects of identity and with cultural concerns that then shaped the work of authors, critics, and readers.

    • Essays by leading, international scholars provide a wide-ranging overview of a period in history so significant to women writing professionally
    • Explores literary, historical, and cultural contexts in which Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and so many other women wrote and published
    • Discusses a breadth of genres in which women were writing including the novel, the political tract and the moral tale
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    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A welcome addition to the excellent Cambridge Companions series, this collection of clearly written essays is both interesting and informative, and fills a scholarly void.' L. J. Larson, Choice

    'These essays make clear that Austen can be read - and re-read - productively within the communities of women writers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. … the collection succeeds in achieving Looser's editorial goal: to emphasize the range of reasons - literary, historical, and social - that we append to Romantic-era women's writings. It will surely succeed in furthering the discussion it ably surveys. A very helpful guide to further reading, included at the end of the volume, will assist scholars carrying forward the work of this collection.' Elizabeth Chang, Jane Austen Society of North America News

    '… a superb new resource for teachers and researchers alike.' Jenny Davidson, Studies in English Literature

    'For scholars of women's writing and Romanticism, to see The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing in the Romantic Period is to feel that one has a veritable intellectual home. … Perhaps most forcefully, this volume, with its abundant accounting of a range women's contributions to nearly every genre and debate of the time, asks us how we might begin to articulate a field that will neither be erased nor defined by past erasures or those to come, but will be a field all its own.' Kate Singer, Modern Philology

    'This excellent addition to the Cambridge Companion series does much to deepen our understanding of how gender shaped the production and reception of texts in the Romantic period while also demonstrating the sheer volume and variety of works produced by women in what editor Devoney Looser terms 'a watershed moment for British women's writing' … In addition to scholars interested in issues related to gender and authorship, this volume should interest anyone seeking to better understand the dynamics of the literary culture in the Romantic period.' Angela Rehbein, Notes and Queries

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107602557
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Poetry Stephen C. Behrendt
    2. Fiction Anthony Mandal
    3. Drama Catherine Burroughs
    4. Essays and political writing Anne Mellor
    5. The gothic Angela Wright
    6. Travel writing Elizabeth A. Fay
    7. History writing and antiquarianism Crystal Lake
    8. Writing in wartime Catherine Ingrassia
    9. Enlightenment feminism and the bluestocking legacy Caroline Franklin
    10. The global context Deirdre Coleman
    11. Social, familial, and literary networks Julie A. Carlson
    12. The economics of female authorship Jacqueline M. Labbe
    13. Age and aging Devoney Looser
    14. National identities and regional affiliations Fiona Price
    15. Sexualities Jillian Heydt-Stevenson
    Guide to further reading.

  • Editor

    Devoney Looser, Arizona State University
    Devoney Looser is Professor of English, Department of English, Arizona State University. She is author of Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750–1850 (2008) and British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670–1820 (2000), co-editor of Generations: Academic Feminists in Dialogue (1997) and editor of Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism (1995).


    Stephen C. Behrendt, Anthony Mandal, Catherine Burroughs, Anne Mellor, Angela Wright, Elizabeth A. Fay, Crystal Lake, Catherine Ingrassia, Caroline Franklin, Deirdre Coleman, Julie A. Carlson, Jacqueline M. Labbe, Devoney Looser, Fiona Price, Jillian Heydt-Stevenson


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015

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