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July 11 , 2007

Novel Histories

British Women Writing History, 1760-1830


Novel Histories: British Women Writing History, 1760–1830 argues that British women’s history and historical fiction in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries changed not only the shape but also the political significance of women’s writing. At a time when women’s participation in the republic of letters was both celebrated and reviled, these authors took cues from developments that revolutionized British history writing to push the limits of narrated history to respond to contemporary national politics. Through an examination of the conventions of historical and literary genres; historiography during the period; and the gendering of civic and literary roles, this study shows not only a social, political, and literary lineage among women’s history writing and fiction but also among women’s writing and the writing of history.

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