Laughing Feminism: Subversive Comedy in Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen

Overview

Laughing Feminism focuses on comedy in the works of Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen, authors who scrutinized the subjected prejudices against women in order to expose their absurdity and encourage readers to laugh at the folly of sexist views. Audrey Bilger shows that these women writers employed a full arsenal of comic weapons such as satire, burlesque, and parody to combat patriarchal nonsense and make comedy out of the discrepancies between the myth and reality of womanhood. Bilger draws on ...
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Overview

Laughing Feminism focuses on comedy in the works of Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen, authors who scrutinized the subjected prejudices against women in order to expose their absurdity and encourage readers to laugh at the folly of sexist views. Audrey Bilger shows that these women writers employed a full arsenal of comic weapons such as satire, burlesque, and parody to combat patriarchal nonsense and make comedy out of the discrepancies between the myth and reality of womanhood. Bilger draws on current feminist criticism, comic theory, and the methodologies of literary history to provide a context for re-assessing the novels of these writers. At a time when overt feminist statements could ruin a woman's reputation, comedy enabled these authors to smuggle feminism into their writing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814330548
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: Humor in Life and Letters Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Audrey Bilger is an associate professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College.
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Table of Contents

Preface 9
Acknowledgments 13
1 Women and Comedy in Eighteenth-Century England 15
2 Defiant Laughter: Mary Wollstonecraft and Feminist Humor 37
3 From Inside Jokes to Published Comedy 55
4 Comedy in Manners: Making Fun of the Angel in the House 83
5 Mocking the "Lords of Creation": Male Comic Characters 111
6 The Limits of Sisterhood: Satirizing Women 143
7 Goblin Laughter: Violent Comedy and the Condition of Women 189
Notes 221
Works Cited 241
Index 253
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