British Women’s Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century: by Jennie Batchelor, Cora Kaplan (eds.)

By Jennie Batchelor, Cora Kaplan (eds.)

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Additional info for British Women’s Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century: Authorship, Politics and History

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She took herself very seriously. Even before she had published anything of any significance, in her early twenties, Seward was acknowledged to be a poet. Her father read Milton and Shakespeare to her when she was three and she had memorised whole books of Paradise Lost by the age of nine. A precocious child, she grew up with a strength of belief in her own genius that never wavered. She would recite her own verses with ‘a fiery vivacity’. Her speaking and reading voice was particularly good; at social gatherings she was in demand for reading aloud and declaiming verse.

When Louisa Mancel inherits 40,000 pounds from her mother, her financial gains seems less the reward of her birth than of the moral worth she has demonstrated in her ‘stoic’ determination to labour by whatever means she can to secure a living. Indeed, it is as a ‘waiting woman’ that Louisa first ‘char[m]s’ the woman later revealed to be her estranged mother (pp. 145–6). Labour is further vital to the ongoing success of the Millenium Hall community. While its founders have no desire ‘to drive a trade’, they none the less find that their various manufacturing projects generate enough profit to establish other philanthropic activities, including the establishment of ‘a fund for the sick and disabled’ (p.

Like Millenium Hall, A Journey is structured as a frame-narrative consisting of a series of dialogues between Sabrina and her imprisoned royal mistress, Carinthia. The princess has been exiled by a scheming male cousin and envies those more ‘humble’ individuals whose lives are blissfully free from court plotting and scheming (p. 4). In an inversion of Scheherezade’s story, the servant offers her narcissistic mistress salvation by relating eight narratives (the first of which follows the story of Leonora, mentioned earlier) designed to illustrate that every station from that of the ‘lowest Peasant to the highest Sovereign, has its Sorrows and Disappointments’ (p.

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