Adopt an Author |
Elizabeth Isabella Spence
|The Corvey Project at
Sheffield Hallam University
by Victoria Leanne Taylor, May 2009
Explore the connections between love, religion and marriage in early nineteenth century ‘women’s novels’, comparing the work of Jane Austen and Elizabeth Isabella Spence.
Three novels by two female novelists will be studied in order to explore the connections between love, religion and marriage in early nineteenth century fiction. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will be compared to the little-known author Elizabeth Isabella Spence’s novels The Wedding Day and The Curate and His Daughter. It will be interesting to note any differences or similarities within the novels which could explain why Austen is still popular today and Spence’s work has been lost in the depths of time. The writing style of the author, plot and setting of the novels and character development may be factors in why one author’s work was lost into obscurity and the other is classed as a literary canon. However, it may be down to a case of poor marketing on the part of Spence’s publishers or secure financial backing for Austen which made the final difference to the women’s careers.
It is meant that the term ‘women’s novels’ is defined, for the purposes of this essay, as novels written by women authors and intended primarily for women to read for pleasure. In the early nineteenth century the literary market was dominated by male authors and some women felt it necessary to publish work under male pseudonyms, a practice which carried on until the end of the nineteenth century, and in the modern day but much less frequently, in order to protect the female writers from prejudice in society and to ensure their work was more widely read. Many women writers believed that their work would only be read by a minority of readers if it was disclosed that a woman had written it, because they were less likely to have a high standard of education in comparison to their male counterparts, which meant people thought the work they produced would be of a lower quality. Others had more personal reasons for wishing to conceal their identity, for example, Jane Austen wanted to comment upon society and if the people she was observing knew that it was her writing the satirical novels about manners, then their behaviour would probably have changed around her, and Mary Ann Evans wanted to lose her reputation as a literary critic and famous adulterer and so she used the pen name, George Eliot, to publish her novels (Gurl.com 01/04/2009). There is no evidence to suggest that Elizabeth Isabella Spence used a pseudonym although this cannot be conclusively proved.
The Wedding Day is the earliest novel being studied as it was published in 1807, and it was followed by The Curate and His Daughter and Pride and Prejudice, both of which were published in 1813. The aftermath of the French Revolution changed the way English society viewed different social groups who were not represented in government, such as women and the lower classes. As Poovey says,
This was the period in which the French Revolution represented a dramatic symbol of social and economic changes that seemed to threaten England as well. As such, it provoked both explicit challenges to the political inequality inherent in English patriarchal society and adamant defenses of the whole system. (Poovey 1984: Preface xv)
Therefore the women’s novel could have been regarded by men, particularly in the upper classes, as an attempt for women to try to lay claim to some of the power within society, as these social and economic changes were taking place.
Love and marriage did not necessarily go hand in hand in the nineteenth century, with upper middle class families ensuring the family estate was kept within the family, it was commonplace for cousins to have marriages arranged by their families from the moment that they were born. This was the case in The Curate and His Daughter where Lady Julia Penrose is betrothed to Albert Clairville from childhood to make sure the money of their parents stays within the family when they pass away. As Perkin points out,
The desire and the need for legitimate heirs was a powerful consideration, affecting people’s deepest-held wishes. Alliances with other powerful families could be forged through marriage ties. Social status could be enhanced. Patronage for jobs affecting the whole family could be procured through the influence which property exerted. (Perkin 1989: 50)
The same type of marriage arrangement can be seen in Pride and Prejudice, when Mr Collins proposed to Elizabeth Bennet in order to secure the family home and ensure it remained available to the five girls and their mother after Mr Bennet died. This was because Mr Collins was the next living male heir in the family and so he would inherit the whole of Mr Bennet’s property, through an inheritance law called entailment. For many women, marriage was their only way to secure social standing and economic security for their future, as is the case for Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice and for Matilda Trevanion before she found out about her elite social status and inheritance in The Curate and His Daughter. Charlotte Lucas did not love Mr Collins but rather felt herself fortunate that a man with a secure job and his own house and saw her marriage as more of a financial arrangement than a romantic attachment. She did not want to be poverty-stricken when her paretns died and this was a real fear of unmarried women who had no brothers who could look after them when their parents died. Women in Charlote’s class in society did not usually work and if they did then they did not earn enough money to support themselves without the benefit of a husband.
Religion and marriage were not always seen as equals in society either, with either one or the other being put on a pedestal in comparison to the other. In many families the second son became a man of the church whereas the first son was supposed to continue the family line by marrying and having a son of his own. Therefore a direct conflict of ideas between the church and matrimony came into being, with religion indirectly becoming second best, despite the majority of families being, on the whole, reasonably pious.
Love and religion almost worked against each other in nineteenth century fictional society because when people fall in love there always seems to be a religious reason as to why they cannot marry, be it that one is already married (as divorce was severely frowned upon) or that politeness and proper behaviour does not allow them to communicate their feelings to one another. Many women were only allowed to meet the ‘right’ sort of men by their families, who would shield them from the type of man that they did not think was appropriate to court their daughter. This was because, ‘A marriage between partners of very different social rank disrupted social life, and unless a family was exceedingly rich it cared greatly what other people thought of their alliances.’ (Perkin 1989: 61) This was the case when Lord Seyntaubyne wanted to marry Anna Trevanion in The Curate and His Daughter because his position in society was so much higher than hers that he felt the need to kidnap her and marry at Gretna Green rather than seek approval from both sets of parents and marry in the conventional way. He also felt that his position as a widower would affect other people’s opinions of him getting married again because it was showing a lack of respect for his dead wife, the mother of his young child.
Religion and morals were a large part of everyday life in the early 1800’s and love was deigned to be less important than religion because if morals were adhered to in life then a person would go to heaven when they died and would spend an eternity with God, and so it was worth a few years of earthly suffering to be rewarded in death. However, a person’s social class would make a difference to the strength of their piety. On the whole, the middle classes took a much more moralistic view on the world than the upper class nobility, as Perkin states,
In the early nineteenth century the moral climate was changing; Evangelical Christianity with its emphasis on sincerity, earnestness and personal responsibility became the dominant religion. The moral lead passed from the aristocracy to the powerful middle classes… Some aristocrats adopted its values but most of them continued to live their private lives with little regard for middle-class mores. (Perkin 1989: 90)
Hence, although some people were highly conscious of religion in those days, there were others who thought that the clerics were too strict in their teachings; this is why Poovey says in the introduction to her book,
Although I have consulted conduct material written by clerics, such as James Fordyce, I have not relied heavily on religious material as such because even nominally devout women like Hester Thrale insisted that clergymen tended to espouse an unapproachable ideal of virtue. (Poovey 1984: Preface xi)
This goes to show that despite being aware of religious ideologies, women were also aware of their own beliefs and were able to distinguish the difference between what was possible to achieve, and the ‘ unapproachable ideal of virtue’ some religious men set for women to try to attain. Society was still male-dominated in the early nineteenth century and women needed the permission of men to be able to do most major things, such as needing permission to marry from a brother or father, like Augusta in The Wedding Day. This ideology is confirmed by Thomas Gisborne, who states,
…the manner of life to be adopted by women should in many respects ultimately depend, not so much on their own deliberate choice, as on the determination, or at least on the interest and convenience, of the parent, of the husband, or of some other near connection; (Gisborne 1799: 122-123)
It is this type of thinking which explains the behaviour of the majority of the women in the three novels studied, who look to men to set the path of their lives for them rather than deciding their futures for themselves. This may explain why Austen’s character Elizabeth Bennet, who rebels from the normal constraints put upon women of an arranged marriage, was and still is such a popular character. In comparison, Spence’s female heroines are lack lustre, as they conform to the rules laid out for them by their families and society. For example, Matilda in The Curate and His Daughter settles to marry Dashwood rather than speaking out about her love for Clairville, even though he is not married, because she does not want to cause upset to others around her, thus suffering emotionally herself. Whereas on the contrary, Elizabeth Bennet refuses to marry any man, be it Mr Collins or Mr Darcy until she is sure that she loves them and her love is reciprocated. This behaviour from the female heroines could be based upon the author’s personal beliefs on love and correctness of manners because,
Jane Austen wrote, ‘Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without Affection.’ (Austen Letters, 1924) She believed that when poverty came in at the door, love flew out of the window. (Perkin 1989: 55)
And so this may explain the willingness Elizabeth Bennet had to discard the financial security of Mr Collins and the obvious elevation in social status that comes with marrying Mr Darcy, and her reluctance to marry for anything except true love, like that expressed in Mr Darcy’s second proposal, ‘If your feelings are still as they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.’ (Austen 2003: 286). Austen means that if the woman is being threatened by destitution then she will accept any man who proposes to her, whether she is in love with him or not, to prevent herself becoming poverty-stricken, and this is not the way marriage should operate, it should solely be based upon true love. Whereas on the other hand, the religious nature of Spence’s upbringing could mean that the importance she places upon manners means that her judgement in love is impaired because she must do things according to propriety rather than spontaneity. This point could be further proved by the fact that Spence died unmarried, showing that she never found the right man to love, perhaps due to her preference to manners over emotions. Although this does not follow Mary Wollstonecraft’s view because,
According to Wollstonecraft, all individuals – men and women are alike – are motivated primarily by an innate desire for love and respect, a craving for recognition from others that ideally affirms the individual’s absolute autonomy. (Poovey 1984: 60)
and Spence does not seem to have been primarily motivated by love in her personal life, but she may have been transferring her own personal desires onto the characters in her novels. This goes to prove that love and marriage are necessary parts of life, which will not necessarily cause the woman to lose her individuality. Instead it will empower women because they are receiving recognition and respect from men which will reinforce their feeling of self-worth and make them feel more in control of their own destiny. There is no mention of the heroines having children in any of the three novels studied which asks the question whether or not it is childbirth rather than marriage which really takes away women’s autonomy.
It could be argued that Matilda Trevanion is courageous in declining the written marriage proposal that is given to her by the elderly Duke of Elmwood. Like Elizabeth Bennet she refused a marriage which could have benefited her financially but she refused on the grounds that she had nothing in common with the Duke as he was more interested in being fashionable than agreeable and therefore he would not make her happy. There is no mention of love in her rebuff, only the disagreeable elements of his manners that she could not live with. This shows that marriage for love is not such an important feature for Spence as it was for Austen in her novels, manners came foremost for Spence. The proposal of the Duke of Elmwood is an insignificant part of the novel which is quickly forgotten by the reader in the place of the Dashwood and Clairville romances and the mystery surrounding Matilda’s parentage. She does not have the tenacity to refuse her second proposal, this time from Dashwood, which sets her apart from the strong-willed Elizabeth. For Spence, having a female character refuse a marriage proposal from a financially secure male was a rebellious piece of writing and was going against the conventions set up in society because,
…marriage [was] virtually the only respectable “occupation” for women (and both learning and writing were frequently seen as threats to domestic duty.) (Poovey 1984: 35)
and she was taking a risk by writing about a woman who was making herself disreputable through the refusal of a marriage offer. Spence was already distancing her character from the ideal of the angel in the home by giving Matilda an education. Making her decline an offer of marriage from Dashwood too may have proved too outrageous for Spence’s style of writing. Although Austen was writing at the same time as Spence, she managed to use a combination of comedy and the lack of formal education for the Bennet girls to ensure that her portrayal of marriage refusals were not damaging to the perception the reader had of her characters reputations. Babb writes, about Elizabeth Bennet,
She always trusts her immediate perceptions to decide the particular case because she believes that they are grounded in instinctive good sense and unnourished prejudice… (Babb 1958: 203- 216)
This shows that Austen placed a higher merit on instinct rather than education for young women in their decision making, quite the opposite to Spence and her partiality to education and grounding in manners. Perhaps if Poovey is proved correct and learning and writing were indeed seen as threats to domesticity then Elizabeth manages to remain respectable through her lack of formal education in comparison to Matilda who had been individually tutored for years by Dr Arundel.
The two authors employ the role of the curate in opposing ways, with Austen using Mr Collins as a comic figure; to be ridiculed by the Bennet family as well as the readers, whereas Spence uses the curate as a role model and guardian in The Curate and His Daughter. Their approaches to the curates may explain further the differences in popularity between the two authors. The beginning of the nineteenth century saw a shift in the religious beliefs of the upper classes and Mr Collins shows he firmly believes in the out-of-date eighteenth century way of preaching, when he is given the chance to read aloud to his cousins and he chooses,
Fordyce’s Sermons…and said, ‘I have often observed how little young ladies are interested by books of a serious stamp, though written solely for their benefit. It amazes me, I confess; for certainly, there can be nothing so advantageous to them as instruction.’ (Austen 2003: 61)
Dr Fordyce wrote his sermons in the mid-1700’s and they depicted old-fashioned beliefs even then. Therefore, Mr Collins reading them as relevant teachings to his cousins in 1813 makes him practically archaic, especially in light of the fact that Evangelical Christianity was rapidly becoming the dominant religion among the masses of middle-class people in Britain, not Fordyce’s Presbyterian denomination. The relaxation of strict religion in the early nineteenth century meant that it was acceptable for Austen to make a comic figure out of a man of the church. She understood the current social climate well enough to know that as long as she made Mr Collins a uniquely outdated character and did not depict ministers from the time she was writing in, then her readers would see the comedy rather than take offence.
Spence on the other hand uses the figure of the curate in two ways; as a paternal grandfather to Matilda Trevanion and as a teacher of manners in the character of Dr Arundel. Both of these roles are positive in comparison to the negative portrayal of Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice. Matilda has been secluded from society until her teenage years when she is sent to Dr Arundel for private tuition. Miraculously she becomes accomplished in all that he has taught her despite lacking most social skills when she first arrived. This shows the positive impact that the religious teaching can have upon young people in society.
The doctor had taught Matilda, from her earliest residence with him, to practise self-denial, and never to diminish happiness by useless repinings at trifles; by these means she acquired a serenity of disposition, although her temper was naturally petulant and impatient. (Spence 1813: 65)
The emphasis on good manners seems to be paralleled with the doctor’s religious nature, which might hint that religion and manners are interchangeable terms if piety leads to well-mannered behaviour. If this is the case then the question may be asked whether the connection is really between love, marriage and manners, rather than religion.
Augusta Delvine in The Wedding Day shows herself to behave properly in the face of adversity by acting with courage when her wedding is called off due to a disastrous duel between Norbury and Fitzalbert. Despite her love for Fitzalbert she retracts to Wales and assumes a false identity because he has hurt her pride by cancelling the wedding. In this instance, the connection between love and marriage is that the couple do love one another but the marriage is bound up in complications due to Fitzalbert’s jealousy. Love is not only linked to marriage but is subject to others influences as well because human nature is never definitive. Jealousy can intervene in the love and marriage cycle and can determine whether the marriage goes ahead or not. Unrequited love on another person’s behalf can also intervene in marriages like that in the case of Lord Seymour, who declares his love for Augusta. Lord Seymour interrupts Fitzalbert when he is about to declare his love for Augusta before she goes to Lisbon and thus delays the course of true love.
Manners and conduct are also linked in The Curate and His Daughter because Anna Trevanion vows never to return to her father because she believes that she has illegitimately married Lord Seyntaubyne as he only signed his forenames on the marriage certificate. By running away she thinks that she is doing the most respectable thing she can do in that situation by not transferring her shame onto her father as well. It is ironic that his religious way of raising her has taught her such good manners that she feels she cannot see him again and ultimately he is punished for his teaching of good manners by dying without seeing his daughter again.
In Pride and Prejudice an example of manners and conduct is when Lydia, the youngest and most selfish daughter elopes with Wickham without gaining her father’s consent or thinking about the effect her marriage will have on her sisters. This goes to show that poor manners are assimilated to distasteful conduct. The irony of good manners punishing the good characters is continued by the morally bad characters living happily ever after. Lydia and Wickham can only live a respectable life after Darcy has forced them to marry quickly to quash any rumours about them living a life of sin being spread throughout society and ruining their reputations. Darcy does this for two reasons; that he wants to prove that he loves Elizabeth and also because,
Darcy and Elizabeth share the common eighteenth-century assumption that a man of real taste is usually a man of sound moral judgement. (Litz 1961: 251-261)
And to prove that he has sound moral judgement he enforces his morals upon Lydia and Wickham who do not care about manners, morals or proper behaviour.
Spence does gain the upper hand over Austen, if the popularity of novels depended upon characters behaving in a way that was acceptable in society. However, surely the point of novels is to explore the realms of possibility and allow characters to act in a way that would be frowned upon in reality. Perhaps the reason for Austen’s long-lived popularity is precisely because she pushes the boundaries of normality with her characters and makes them stand out from the many other authors characters that were being created at the same time. Elizabeth Bennet only represents a small number of women in society who are strong-willed enough to refuse proposals and risk being alone. She is similar to the author, Mary Wollstonecraft who,
wants love more than anything else, but she wants it only on her own terms: “I must have the first place or none.”1 She wants to command love, to dictate its intensity and duration, and in doing so she also wants to claim for herself a position of intellectual pre-eminence and courage. (Poovey 1984: 49) 1 (Wardle ed. 1979: 60 4th June 1773 – 16th November 1774)
Poovey proves that Elizabeth is not an entirely fictitious character living in Austen’s mind but she is based on women who really did exist, even if they were only a minority within the large numbers of women living at the time. In order to have an entertaining and memorable novel maybe Austen realised that her work should be different to those already being published and this may explain why she decided to have such a feisty female heroine, as opposed to Jane Bennet or Lydia, who would have put a whole different perspective on the tone of the novel.
In both of Spence’s novels there is at least one marriage which is called off at the last moment. In The Curate and His Daughter it is down to the individuals concerned who decide that they love other people, whereas in The Wedding Day violence delays the wedding. In both cases the novels end in euphoric marriages for the heroines, as does Pride and Prejudice. This shows that the authors use the same plot devices to build up tension within their novels, and yet one remains more popular than the other. Therefore it must be their individual styles of writing which sets them apart from one another if their characters do very similar things in the novels.
The need to have a happy ending to a love story in a ‘women’s novel’ follows the centuries-old tradition that says women are more emotional than men and can get more emotionally attached to fictional characters. If these novels were classed as ‘men’s novels’ then undoubtedly the authors could possibly have ended on a more negative note with no effect to the popularity of the novel, but the intended audience controls the outcome of the plot to ensure the novel is popular. Out of the three novels studied, Pride and Prejudice is the one which could be said to interest the male readership because it gives access to the male point of view as well as the female viewpoints of characters. Austen has included Mr Bennet, Mr Collins, Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley to give male readers the chance to identify with some of the characters. Spence does use male characters, such as Fitzalbert and Norbury, and Clairville and Dashwood but she only uses them as an extension to the female characters. They only give their viewpoints when asked and they are usually associated to the female characters, for example, when they declare their love for the heroines. The men in Spence’s novels are not as well developed as the men in Pride and Prejudice, where the men are characters who can stand alone from women and still be recognised as individuals. This could explain why Austen is still popular nowadays; she targeted the entire demographic of readers available whereas Spence only targeted female readers. This may mean that Spence can be categorised more specifically as a ‘women’s novel’ writer in comparison to Austen, who seems to have wrote her novels with both sexes in mind, but surely the chance to be a literary canon is more appealing to any author than simply writing to amuse and entertain people until their popularity has waned due to small readership numbers. Hence, perhaps Austen’s ambition was the reason why she remains popular and Spence has been forgotten by the masses.
In conclusion, the love, religion and marriage in early nineteenth century ‘women’s novels’ are most definitely connected, be it directly or indirectly. Although, this study has shown that manners seem to be a more important factor than religion in the relationship between love and marriage, even though religion teaches people the manners that they use. This is because sometimes women can be in love with a man but their manners may tell them that this love is inappropriate and so they will decline marriage offers and remove themselves from the situation. Therefore, religion and manners, despite being totally different ideologies, are somehow interchangeable terms when in conjunction with love and marriage because one almost always affects the other. However, it must be remembered that the fiction written at the time does not always reflect how society really operated. Authors could let their imaginations run wild and compose scenes in novels that would never happen in reality due to the constraints put upon people by manners and religion. These novels do not give a clear reflection of the relationships between love, religion and marriage because they are fictional and also they only focus upon one section of society, such as the middle-classes, whereas a true representation of early nineteenth century love, marriage and religion would comment upon a cross-section of society, with characters being taken from all classes in society. Maybe the fictional love story proved to be so popular in novel form because it did not depict real life situations and readers could escape their everyday lives by reading them. They usually have a fairytale ending, whereas in real life people got married because of their financial need to do so, family pressures or because they did not want to be lonely in their old age. There was not only love, religion and marriage involved with the smooth running of relationships in the early nineteenth century, and indeed at any period in history, because jealousy and unrequited love can also affect people, causing the wrong marriage proposals to be accepted and heartbreak to follow.
There are several reasons as to why Austen proved to be so popular in comparison to Spence but one may be to do with their portrayals of love, religion and marriage in their novels. Spence uses plots that are unrealistic, such as meeting a suitor in an ancient abbey off the coast of Scotland when you originally reside in Cornwall, whereas Austen’s love story is more plausible if not romantic at times. Elizabeth’s visit to Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice has the same notion of lovers meeting unexpectedly whilst on holiday but it remains more realistic because it is Darcy’s house that they meet in, not a gothic, ruined abbey. The realistic element to Pride and Prejudice makes it believable to a wider spectrum of readers because even if they are not from the same class as the characters, there is something that they can identify with in the novel. Spence uses the same devices as Austen in the writing of her novels but her skill with words is not quite as eloquent which over the span of an entire novel becomes apparent and ultimately produces a less polished novel. Spence’s novels are entertaining and endearing in their own light but when compared to Austen’s the details are not as coherent as first thought and the inaccuracies in the texts detract from the overall novel-reading experience, which obviously means that her novels could not stand the test of time as well as Austen’s have.
British Fiction website Date accessed 26/10/2008
This was useful for finding a comprehensive list of Spence’s work.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Date accessed 24/10/2008
The only website with any biographical information, it proved invaluable.
British Fiction website Date accessed 11/02/2009
This website had fairly long reviews about both of Spence’s novels being studied.
Critical Review 3rd ser. 11 (Aug 1807) pp 437-438
Critical Review 4th ser. 4 (Sept 1813) pp 327-329
Monthly Review 2nd ser. (July 1809) pp 321
Monthly Review 2nd ser. 71 (June 1813) pp 212
The authorship of all four reviews used is unknown and the works are cited from the publication they were originally printed in rather than the website they were taken from.
Austen, Jane Pride and Prejudice (2003) Planet Three Publishing; London
This was the set text for comparison with Spence’s novels.
Austen Letters Five Letters from Jane Austen to her niece Fanny Knight (1924) Clarendon Press; Oxford quoted in Perkin, Joan Women and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century England (1989) Routledge; London
This book provided an insight into Austen’s personal views on love and marriage, but not so much about religion.
Babb, Howard S “Dialogue with Feeling: A Note on Pride and Prejudice” in Kenyon Review (1958) series XX pp 203-216. The essay was later modified and printed as part of Chapter 5 in Babb’s Jane Austen’s Novels: The Fabric of Dialogue (1962) Ohio State University Press; Ohio pp 113-144
Babb provides a theory as to why Elizabeth and Darcy act in the ways that they do.
Gisborne, Thomas An Enquiry Into The Duties of the Female Sex (1799) 4th ed. T Cadell, Jr & W Davies; London pp 122-123
This was not overly useful but I did make use of one quotation taken from this book.
Google search (women writers pen names) Date accessed 01/04/2009
This is a non-scholarly website with no recognised editorial process, but provided basic information about the pseudonyms of nineteenth century female authors.
Litz, Walton A “The Loiterer: A Reflection of Jane Austen’s Early Environment,” in Review of English Studies (1961) pp 251- 261
The publisher and place of publication were not provided with the text. Although
information about The Loiterer was given. It was a juvenile magazine prepared and
circulated in 1789-90 by Jane Austen’s brothers.
Perkin, Joan Women and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century England (1989) Routledge; London
This gave me useful background reading about the laws and practices of marriage in the nineteenth century.
Poovey, Mary The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer; Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen (1984) University of Chicago Press; Chicago
Mary Wollstonecraft’s studies proved to be more useful than the research about Jane Austen which was surprising.
Spence, Elizabeth Isabella The Wedding Day (1807) Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orms and Brown; London
The Curate and His Daughter (1813) Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orms and Brown; London
The set texts being analysed.
Wardle, Ralph M Collected Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft (1979) Cornell University Press; Ithaca and London quoted in Poovey, Mary The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer; Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen (1984) University of Chicago Press; Chicago
This was the most useful essay in the book, even though it was about Wollstonecraft not Austen.
Watson, Nicola J. Revolution and the Form of the British Novel, 1790-1825, Intercepted Letters, Interrupted Seductions (1994) Clarendon Press; Oxford
This provided background information but there were no relevant quotations to be taken from it to support my thesis.
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