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Women against Romance

  • Josephine Donovan

Abstract

Despite the apparent submergence and eclipse of feminist Critical realism by the sentimentalist heroine’s text after the first two decades of the eighteenth century, an anti-romance undercurrent continued to circulate in the English women’s literary tradition throughout the century. While women have long been popularly associated with the romance, both as writers and readers, the female anti-romance tradition that I trace in this chapter suggests that the anti-romance was at least as important in women’s literary culture as the romance.

Keywords

Eighteenth Century Woman Writer Nature Picture Woman Character Realist Tradition 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Charles C. Mish, Preface to Restoration Prose Fiction 1666–1700 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1970), p. x. These stories may well have been intended for a masculine audience since they were published in The Gentleman’s fournal, but it is Mish’s assumption that the anti-romance would not appeal to women that I wish to highlight.Google Scholar
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    This the local-color realism of writers like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Rose Terry Cooke, and Sarah Orne Jewett. See Josephine Donovan, New England Local Color Literature: A Women’s Tradition (New York: Ungar, 1983).Google Scholar
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    As cited in O. Elizabeth McWhorter Harden, Maria Edgeworth’s Art of Prose Fiction (The Hague: Mouton, 1971), p. 114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Maria Edgeworth, The Absentee (1818; reprint, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 2. Further references follow in the text.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Josephine Donovan 1999

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  • Josephine Donovan

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