Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era

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"It might not have been the revolution that Mary Wollstonecraft called for in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), but the Romantic era did witness a dramatic change in women's lives. Combining literary and cultural history, this illustrated volume brings back to life a remarkable, though frequently overlooked, group of women who transformed British culture and inspired new ways of understanding feminine roles and female sexuality." Now-obscure female astronomers, photographers, sculptors, and mathematicians share these pages with
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Overview

"It might not have been the revolution that Mary Wollstonecraft called for in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), but the Romantic era did witness a dramatic change in women's lives. Combining literary and cultural history, this illustrated volume brings back to life a remarkable, though frequently overlooked, group of women who transformed British culture and inspired new ways of understanding feminine roles and female sexuality." Now-obscure female astronomers, photographers, sculptors, and mathematicians share these pages with celebrated writers such as Mary Shelley; her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft; and Mary Robinson, who in addition to being a novelist and actress was also the mistress of the Prince of Wales. This book also makes full use of The New York Public Library's extensive collections, including graphic works and caricatures from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, manuscripts, hand-colored illustrations, broadsides, drawings, oil paintings, notebooks, albums, and early photographs. These images depict these women, their works, and their social and domestic worlds.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231136310
  • Publisher: New York Public Library
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Pages: 192

Table of Contents

Foreword
Ch. 1 Mary Robinson, eighteenth-century romantic 2
Ch. 2 Exemplary women : Mary Wollstonecraft, Hannah More, and their worlds 22
Ch. 3 Not quite good enough : three imperfect lives 38
Ch. 4 The modern Venus, or, improper ladies and others 56
Ch. 5 Stronger passions of the mind : women in literature and the visual arts 90
Ch. 6 Rational dames and ladies on horseback : scientists and travelers 124
Ch. 7 The youngest romantics 150
The Pforzheimer collection and its female inhabitants : an afterword 167
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