Tracing Women's Romanticism: Gender, History, and Transcendence

Overview

"This book explores a cosmopolitan tradition of nineteenth-century idealist novels written in response to Germaine de Stael's originary novel of the artist as heroine, Corinne, or Italy. The author discusses the Bildungsromane of Mary Shelley, Bettine von Arnim and George Sand as responses to Stael's portrait of the artist as abandoned woman, victim of betrayed love." The first study to consider these major figures from European Romanticism as members of a coherent tradition, Tracing Women's Romanticism argues that Stael, Shelley, Arnim, and Sand ...
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Overview

"This book explores a cosmopolitan tradition of nineteenth-century idealist novels written in response to Germaine de Stael's originary novel of the artist as heroine, Corinne, or Italy. The author discusses the Bildungsromane of Mary Shelley, Bettine von Arnim and George Sand as responses to Stael's portrait of the artist as abandoned woman, victim of betrayed love." The first study to consider these major figures from European Romanticism as members of a coherent tradition, Tracing Women's Romanticism argues that Stael, Shelley, Arnim, and Sand create proto-feminist visions of spiritual and artistic transcendence that constitute a critique of Romanticism from within. In novels such as Valperga, Die Gunderode and Consuelo, disappointment with Romantic love becomes a catalyst for heightened spiritual, historical and political awareness. This awareness leads to disillusionment with Romanticism's privileging of melancholy, Byronic will and masculinist conceptions of history and Bildung.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kari Lokke is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of GĂ©rard de Nerval: The Poet as Social Visionary (1987) and co-editor of Rebellious Hearts: British Women Writers and the French Revolution (2001).

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Table of Contents

Introduction : Romantic abandon 1
1 "The vast tableau of destinies" : Germaine de Stael's Corinne, enthusiasm, and melancholy 23
2 "The sweet reward of all our toil" : content of mind in Mary Shelley's Valperga 57
3 Beyond impossibility : Bettine von Arnim's Die Gunderode, "an ideal relation realized" 84
4 Rewriting Romanticism : George Sand's Consuelo and revolutionary history 117
Epilogue : comic flight and the winds of fate : Isak Dinesen's The dreamers 150
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