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In this work of feminist literary criticism the authors explore the works of many major 19th-century women writers. They chart a tangible desire expressed for freedom from the restraints of a confining patriarchal society and trace a distinctive female literary tradition.
This book offers a discussion of the trope of madness in twentieth-century French women's writing, focusing on close readings of the following texts: Violette Leduc's "L'Asphyxie" (1946), Marguerite Duras's "Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein" (1964), Simone de Beauvoir's 'La Femme rompue' (1967), Marie Cardinal's "Les Mots pour le dire" (1975), Jeanne Hyvrard's "Les Prunes de Cythere" (1975) and "Mere la mort" (1976). The discussion traces the evolution in the way madness is taken up by women authors from the key period starting just prior to the emergence of second-wave feminism and culminating at the height of the "ecriture feminine" project. This study argues that madness offers itself up to these authors as a powerful means to convey a certain ambivalence towards changing contemporary ideas on the authority of authorship. On the one hand a highly enabling means to figure transgression, the madwoman is equally the repository for a twentieth-century 'anxiety of authorship' on the part of the woman writer."
Focusing on the ways in which women writers from across the political spectrum engage with and adapt Wollstonecraft's political philosophy in order to advocate feminist reform, Andrew McInnes explores the aftermath of Wollstonecraft's death, the controversial publication of William Godwin's memoir of his wife, and Wollstonecraft's reception in the early nineteenth century. McInnes positions Wollstonecraft within the context of the eighteenth-century female philosopher figure as a literary archetype used in plays, poetry, polemic and especially novels, to represent the thinking woman and address anxieties about political, religious, and sexual heterodoxy. He provides detailed analyses of the ways in which women writers such as Mary Hays, Elizabeth Hamilton, Amelia Opie, and Maria Edgeworth negotiate Wollstonecraft's reputation as personal, political, and sexual pariah to reformulate her radical politics for a post-revolutionary Britain in urgent need of reform. Frances Burney's The Wanderer and Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, McInnes suggests, work as state-of-the-nation novels, drawing on Wollstonecraft's ideas to explore a changing England. McInnes concludes with an examination of Mary Shelley's engagement with her mother throughout her career as a novelist, arguing that Shelley gradually overcomes her anxiety over her mother's stature to address Wollstonecraft's ideas with increasing confidence.
Jane Austen’s six complete novels and her juvenilia are examined in the context of civil society and gender. Steiner’s study uses a variety of contexts to appraise Austen’s work: Scottish Enlightenment theories of societal development, early-Romantic discourses on gender roles, modern sociological theories on the civilizing process.
‘When I want to know the real rock-bottom truth about what happens all the time in this doctoring life, what happens to us, and to the folks who bring us their hearts and worries to be heard, that’s when I turn, every time, to the novelists, the playwrights, the poets, the essayists, who have given us the sights and sounds, the feel, of all that goes on, minute by minute. What Tolstoy and Chekhov knew, we need to know for ourselves, for our own sakes, as we live out our medical lives.’ William Carlos Williams ‘The most fundamental of all consulting skills is genuine curiosity about other people, the constant urge to wonder ‘Why are they as they are?’ We should open our minds to the life of the imagination not just for its entertainment value, but for the mindset of curiosity it engenders in us. Such books as John Salinsky describes in this and his previous volume combine powerful opportunities for our own professional growth with pleasure and recreation too.’ Roger Neighbour in his Foreword ‘This carefully assembled, wonderfully telling book is a “companion,” for sure, a lasting and most helpful one, for the medical travelling that awaits us.’ Robert Coles in his Foreword.
Travelling in Different Skins explores the ways in which travel creates gender trouble and motion destabilises identity. Through close readings of European women's Oriental travelogues from 1850-1950, including Olympe Audouard, Isabella Bird, Jane Dieulafoy and Freya Stark, the book shows how the 'perfect woman' is rewritten in the Other space of the Orient. As these women negotiate their way through the traditionally male arenas of colonialism,Orientalism and the adventure genre, they send home distorted, disturbing, appealing visions of modern female identity. Combining travel, post-colonial and gender theory, the book demonstrates howrather than domestic, localised contentment, women travellers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries explore cross-dressing, commerciality and performance. At the risk of going too far, becoming subject to social exclusion, they push out the physical, textual and geographical parameters by which women are defined. This monograph elaborates a new paradigm for considering women's travel writing, vagabondage, the endless, aching search for identity through motion.

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