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Cambridge Studies in Romanticism : Women Travel Writers and the Language of Aesthetics, 1716-1818 Series Number 13 - Elizabeth A. Bohls

Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

Women Travel Writers and the Language of Aesthetics, 1716-1818 Series Number 13

Paperback Published: 11th October 2004
ISBN: 9780521607100
Number Of Pages: 324

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British readers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries eagerly consumed books of travel in an age of imperial expansion that was also the formative period of modern aesthetics. Beauty, sublimity, sensuous surfaces, and scenic views became conventions of travel writing as Britons applied familiar terms to unfamiliar places around the globe. The social logic of aesthetics, argues Elizabeth Bohls, constructed women, the labouring classes, and non-Europeans as foils against which to define the 'man of taste' as an educated, property-owning gentleman. Women writers from Mary Wortley Montagu to Mary Shelley resisted this exclusion from gentlemanly privilege, and their writings re-examine and question aesthetic conventions such as the concept of disinterested contemplation, subtly but insistently exposing its vested interests. Bohls' study expands our awareness of women's intellectual presence in Romantic literature, and suggests Romanticism's sources at the peripheries of empire rather than at its centre.

'An important and serious contribution to the field ... an interesting intervention in a growing field and Bohls's consideration of women writers in particular is timely. Importantly, the argument of the book reverses the practice, prevalent in post-structuralist criticism, of isolating the aesthetic debates of the eighteenth century away from their immediate cultural context. Bohls's work, by contrast, explores the interaction between aesthetic ambitions and the practices of eighteenth century social life. In this respect Bohl's book deserves much credit.' English

Aesthetics and Orientalism in Mary Wortley MontaguÆs letters
Janet Schaw and the aesthetics of colonialism
Landscape aesthetics and the paradox of the female picturesque
Helen Maria WilliamsÆ revolutionary landscapes
Mary WollstonecraftÆs anti-aesthetics
Dorothy Wordsworth and the cultural politics of scenic tourism
The picturesque and the female sublime in Ann RadcliffeÆs Mysteries of Udolpho
Aesthetics, gender, and empire in Mary ShelleyÆs Frankenstein
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521607100
ISBN-10: 0521607108
Series: Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, 13
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 11th October 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 15.24  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.5