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332-001 Early Women Writers: British Women’s Roles and Rights in the 1790s

332-001 Early Women Writers: British Women's Roles and Rights in the 1790s
Instructor: Julie Shaffer
Description:
How did British authors of this period understand their roles and rights in this period equivalent, in many ways, to the 1960s? In an era of abolitionist sentiments and various revolutions, many female authors expressed dissatisfaction with cultural, legal, and economic limitations on women. Mary Wollstonecraft is the best known of these authors, but she was joined in addressing these issues by Mary Hays, Elizabeth Inchbald, Amelia Opie, Mary Robinson, and Charlotte Smith, among others. In this course, we will discuss fiction and some poetry by these writers and others as well as contemporary (and present-day) non-fiction that contextualizes what these authors wrote. We will look at the way these writers addressed questions of race, economic and social rank, and revolution to advocate for greater rights for women. Among the works we'll read are Wollstonecraft's Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman; Inchbald's Nature and Art; Opie's Adeline Mowbray; Robinson's The Natural Daughter; and Smith's Desmond.

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