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Women travel writers and the language of aesthetics, 1716-1818 / Elizabeth A. Bohls.

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Subject: Travelers' writings, English > History and criticism.
Women travelers > Great Britain > Biography > History and criticism.
English prose literature > Women authors > History and criticism.
English prose literature > 18th century > History and criticism.
English prose literature > 19th century > History and criticism.
Women and literature > Great Britain > History > 18th century.
Women and literature > Great Britain > History > 19th century.
Aesthetics, British > 18th century.
Aesthetics, British > 19th century.
Landscapes in literature.
English language > 18th century > Style.
English language > 19th century > Style.
Genre: Electronic books.

Record details

  • ISBN: 0585268665
  • ISBN: 9780585268668
  • Physical Description: 1 online resource (x, 309 pages) : illustrations.
  • Publisher: Cambridge ; Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 291-305) and index.
Formatted Contents Note: Aesthetics and Orientalism in Mary Wortley Montagu's letters -- Janet Schaw and the aesthetics of colonialism -- Landscape aesthetics and the paradox of the female picturesque -- Helen Maria Williams' revolutionary landscapes -- Mary Wollstonecraft's anti-aesthetics -- Dorothy Wordsworth and the cultural politics of scenic tourism -- The picturesque and the female sublime in Ann Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho -- Aesthetics, gender, and empire in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Summary: British readers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries eagerly consumed books of travels in an age of imperial expansion that was also the formative period of modern aesthetics. Beauty, sublimity, sensuous surfaces, and scenic views became conventions of travel writing as Britons applied familiar terms to unfamiliar places around the globe. The social logic of aesthetics, argues Elizabeth Bohls, constructed women, the laboring classes, and non-Europeans as foils against which to define the "man of taste" as an educated, property-owning gentleman. Women writers from Mary Wortley Montagu to Mary Shelley resisted this exclusion from gentlemanly privilege, and their writings re-examine and question aesthetic conventions such as the concept of disinterested contemplation, subtly but insistently exposing its vested interests.
Summary, etc.: Bohls's study expands our awareness of women's intellectual presence in Romantic literature, and suggests Romanticism's sources might be at the peripheries of empire rather than at its center.
Source of Description Note: Print version record.
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