Women’s Letters as Life Writing 1840–1885

1st Edition

Catherine Delafield

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Routledge
Published December 16, 2019
Reference - 194 Pages
ISBN 9781003015710 - CAT# KF18892
Series: The Nineteenth Century Series

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Summary

Examining letter collections published in the second half of the nineteenth century, Catherine Delafield rereads the life-writing of Frances Burney, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Delany, Catherine Winkworth, Jane Austen and George Eliot, situating these women in their epistolary culture and in relation to one another as exemplary women of the period. She traces the role of their editors in the publishing process and considers how a model of representation in letters emerged from the publication of Burney’s Diary and Letters and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Life of Brontë. Delafield contends that new correspondences emerge between editors/biographers and their biographical subjects, and that the original epistolary pact was remade in collaboration with family memorials in private and with reviewers in public. Women’s Letters as Life Writing addresses issues of survival and choice when an archive passes into family hands, tracing the means by which women’s lives came to be written and rewritten in letters in the nineteenth century.

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