Engendering Legitimacy: Law, Property, and Early Eighteenth-Century Fiction

Overview

Engendering Legitimacy is a study of the intersecting of law, land, property, and gender in the prose fiction of Mary Davys, Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, and Jonathan Swift. The law of property in early modern England established relations for men and women that artificially constructed, altered, and ended their connections with the material world, and the land they lived upon. The cultural role of land and law in a changing economy embracing new forms of property became a founding preoccupation around which grew...

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Overview

Engendering Legitimacy is a study of the intersecting of law, land, property, and gender in the prose fiction of Mary Davys, Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, and Jonathan Swift. The law of property in early modern England established relations for men and women that artificially constructed, altered, and ended their connections with the material world, and the land they lived upon. The cultural role of land and law in a changing economy embracing new forms of property became a founding preoccupation around which grew the imaginative prose fiction that would develop into the English novel. Susan Glover contends that questions of political and legal legitimacy raised by the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 were transposed to the domestic and literary spheres of the early 1700s. Well researched and compellingly argued, Engendering Legitimacy examines the ways by which experimentation in prose fiction begins to re-vision the period's enmeshing of law, land, property, and political power, as the four writers imagine new grounds for authorial and political legitimacy.

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Editorial Reviews

Scriblerian
Even as Engendering Legitimacy opens up compelling questions about the relationship between changes in the law of landed property and changes in fictional form, the book's wonderfully researched historical itinerary significantly contributes to documentnig the complex imbrication of property, law, inheritance, legitimacy, and gender at a crucial moment in the rise of prose fiction.'
— Lynn Festa, Rutgers University
Scriblerian - Lynn Festa
'Even as Engendering Legitimacy opens up compelling questions about the relationship between changes in the law of landed property and changes in fictional form, the book's wonderfully researched historical itinerary significantly contributes to documentnig the complex imbrication of property, law, inheritance, legitimacy, and gender at a crucial moment in the rise of prose fiction.'
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Susan Paterson Glover is assistant professor of English at Laurentian University.

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