Women writers and the nation's past, 1790-1860 : empathetic histories / Mary Spongberg.
- London : Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
viii, 235 pages ; 24 cm
- Women authors, English -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century.
Women authors, English -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Great Britain -- History -- 1789-1820 -- Historiography.
Great Britain -- History -- 19th century -- Historiography.
Women authors, English.
- 1790 saw the publication of Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France -- the definitive tract of modern conservatism as a political philosophy. Though women of the period wrote texts that clearly responded to and reacted against Burke's conception of English history and to the contemporary political events that continued to shape it, this conversation was largely ignored or dismissed, and much of it remains to be reconsidered today. Examining the works of women writers from Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft to the Strickland sisters and Mary Anne Everett Green, this book begins to recuperate that conversation and in doing so uncovers a more complete and nuanced picture of women's participation in the writing of history. Professor Mary Spongberg puts forward an alternate, feminized historiography of Britain that demonstrates how women writers' recourse to history caused them to become generically innovative and allowed them to participate in the political debates that framed the emergence of modern British historiography, and to push back against the Whig interpretation of history that predominated from 1790-1860.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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