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Woman's Work in English Fiction From the Restoration to the Mid-Victorian Period   By:

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Woman's Work in English Fiction

From the Restoration to the Mid Victorian Period

By Clara H. Whitmore, A.M.

G. P. Putnam's Sons New York and London The Knickerbocker Press 1910

COPYRIGHT, 1909 BY CLARA H. WHITMORE The Knickerbocker Press, New York

PREFACE

The writings of many of the women considered in this volume have sunk into an oblivion from which their intrinsic merit should have preserved them. This is partly due to the fact that nearly all the books on literature have been written from a man's stand point. While in other arts the tastes of men and women vary little, the choice of novels is to a large degree determined by sex. Many men who acknowledge unhesitatingly that Jane Austen is superior as an artist to Smollett, will find more pleasure in the breezy adventures of Roderick Random than in the drawing room atmosphere of Emma ; while no woman can read a novel of Smollett's without loathing, although she must acknowledge that the Scottish writer is a man of genius.

This book is written from a woman's viewpoint. Wherever my own judgment has been different from the generally accepted one, as in the estimate of some famous heroines, the point in question has been submitted to other women, and not recorded unless it met with the approval of a large number of women of cultivated taste.

This work was first undertaken at the suggestion of Dr. E. Charlton Black of Boston University for a Master's thesis, and it was due to his appreciative words that it was enlarged into book form. I also wish to thank Professor Ker of London University, and Dr. Henry A. Beers and Dr. Wilbur L. Cross of Yale University for the help which I obtained from them while a student in their classes. It is with the deepest sense of gratitude that I acknowledge the assistance given to me in this work by Mr. Charles Welsh, at whose suggestion the scope of the book was enlarged, and many parts strengthened. I wish especially to thank him for calling my attention to The Cheap Repository of Hannah More, and to the literary value of Maria Edgeworth's stories for children.

It is my only hope that this book may in a small measure fill a want which a school girl recently expressed to me: "Our Club wanted to study about women, but we have searched the libraries and found nothing."

C. H. W.

CONTENTS

PAGE CHAPTER I. MARGARET CAVENDISH, DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE (1624 1674) APHRA BEHN (1640 1689) MARY MANLEY (1672 1724) 1

CHAPTER II. SARAH FIELDING (1710 1768) ELIZA HAYWOOD (1693 1756) CHARLOTTE LENNOX (1720 1766) FRANCES SHERIDAN (1724 1766) 24

CHAPTER III. FRANCES BURNEY (1752 1840) 45

CHAPTER IV. HANNAH MORE (1745 1833) 62

CHAPTER V. CHARLOTTE SMITH (1749 1806) ELIZABETH INCHBALD (1753 1821) 73

CHAPTER VI. CLARA REEVE (1725 1803) ANN RADCLIFFE (1764 1822) SOPHIA LEE (1750 1824) HARRIET LEE (1766 1851) 88

CHAPTER VII. MARIA EDGEWORTH (1767 1849) LADY MORGAN (1783 1859) 111

CHAPTER VIII. ELIZABETH HAMILTON (1758 1816) ANNA PORTER (1780 1832) JANE PORTER (1776 1850) 133

CHAPTER IX. AMELIA OPIE (1769 1853) MARY BRUNTON (1778 1818) 149

CHAPTER X. JANE AUSTEN (1775 1817) 157

CHAPTER XI... Continue reading book >>




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