′These authoritative essays give their once marginalized subjects a sense of stature, not just as women writers, but as authors well integrated into the common pantheon.′ Times Literary Supplement ′This is a lucid and highly readable collection of essays... interesting and informative... offering instructive insights into changing constructions of gender and identity.′ Modern Language Review ′... An intriguing liberal intellectual argument...′ Morning Star ′Janet Todd′s Gender, Art and Death is a refreshingly accessible book from a writer who is, as always, aware yet suspicious of shifts in theoretical fashion. ... excellent book.... Anyone interested in feminism, historicisim or literary history would be well advised to savour the entire work for themselves.′ British Journal for Eighteenth–Century Studies
From the Back Cover
Janet Todd is one of the leading authorities on seventeenth– and eighteenth–century women writers. She has produced, over a period of more than twenty years, numerous works on, and editions of, the writings of once little–known authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Helen Maria Williams and Charlotte Smith. In this volume Janet Todd discusses women and issues of gender from the Restoration to Romanticism, and the staging of the self that is necessarily a part of the assertiveness of writing. She investigates the complex and often cruel intertwinings of art and life as revealed in women authors and the fascination with culturally privileged art and with heroic death, both of which are encoded as simultaneously `masculine′ and beyond gender. Among the topics discussed are the creation of the artist in the work of Aphra Behn; self fashionings of transgressive eighteenth–century women; Mary Wollstonecraft′s suicide attempts; and the vexed attitude of Virginia Woolf to Jane Austen. An introductory essay discusses history, memory, feminist literary biography and the New Historicism.