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    Women writers and women readers

    Wiseman, Susan J. (2001) Women writers and women readers. In: Womersley, D. (ed.) A Companion to Literature from Milton to Blake. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 20-37. ISBN 9780631212850.

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    Abstract

    So Mary Wollstonecraft quoted Milton's Paradise Lost in her anthology of texts dedicated to the education of girls, The Female Reader (1789). Why did Wollstonecraft include Milton in her anthology? And why this passage which emphasizes the joys of companionship, concluding with Adam and Eve, ‘hand in hand’, passing ‘On to their blissful bower’? To extend the question, what role did Wollstonecraft think reading ought to play in women's lives, and what roles had it played between the time of the English Civil War and of Wollstonecraft's publication on the eve of the French Revolution? Part of what such use of reading registers is, as in Wollstonecraft's case, a particular author's intellectual trajectory – where Paradise Lost offers a vision of pastoral harmony to students of The Female Reader Wollstonecraft uses Milton's poem very differently indeed a mere three years later in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). For a writer like Wollstonecraft, her use of Milton illuminates some of the ways in which reading – as registered intertextually in quotation and allusion – illuminates the changing intellectual milieu in which she was writing, as it does for other readers.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    SWORD Depositor: Mr Joe Tenant
    Depositing User: Mr Joe Tenant
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 08:10
    Last Modified: 06 Sep 2018 08:10
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/23562

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