Review by Choice Review
Another collection of essays on women writers in a series of works designed to expand the 18th-century canon. Like other collections-e.g., Moira Ferguson's First Feminists (CH, Dec '85)-this one too dispels the myth of the passivity and subordination of women writers by focusing on the relationship of gender to genre. Yet this collection is far more inclusive than any published so far, both in the range of writers covered and in the attention paid to new critical and scholarly approaches. It offers essays on the better-known writers-e.g., Jane Austen and Ann Radcliffe-but also includes essays on the less accessible Charlotte Smith and Frances Sheridan. Also incorporated are thematic studies of topics affecting the lives of 18th-century women writers, ranging from needlework and painting to prostitution. Editors Schofield and Macheski have gathered a reputable group of scholars, including Patricia Spacks, Paula Backscheider, and Margaret Anne Doody. Although the strength of the individual contributions is occasionally uneven, the cumulative effect is an intensive examination of the 18th-century woman writer in her environment. Jerry Beasley's bibliographic essay is particularly noteworthy. Recommended for undergraduates (all levels) and graduate students.-B. Kowaleski-Wallace, Tufts University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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