The Art of Political Fiction in Hamilton, Edgeworth, and Owenson

1st Edition

Susan B. Egenolf

Routledge
Published November 29, 2017
Reference - 220 Pages
ISBN 9780815397465 - CAT# K344751

was $149.95

USD$119.96

SAVE ~$29.99

Add to Wish List
FREE Standard Shipping!

Summary

Even as Romantic-period authors asserted the importance of telling the unvarnished truth, novelists were deploying narrative glossing in particularly sophisticated forms. Susan Egenolf examines the artistic craft and political engagement of three major women novelists-Elizabeth Hamilton, Maria Edgeworth, and Sydney Owenson-whose self-conscious use of glosses facilitated their critiques of politics and society. All three writers employed devices such as prefaces and editorial notes, as well as alternative media, especially painting and drama, to comment on the narrative. The effect of these disparate media, Egenolf argues, is to call the reader's attention away from the narrative itself. That is, such glossing or 'varnishing' creates narrative ruptures that offer the reader a glimpse of the process of fictional structuring and often reveal the novel's indebtedness to a particular historical moment. In spite, or perhaps because, of their being gendered feminine in eighteenth-century rhetorical commentary, therefore, these glosses allow women writers to participate in 'masculine' discussions outside the conventional domestic sphere. Informed by a wide range of archival texts and examples from the visual arts, and highlighting the 1798 Irish Rebellion as a major event in Irish and British Romantic writing, Egenolf's study offers a new interdisciplinary reading of gendered and political responses to key events in the history of Romanticism.

Share this Title