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 Featured Title
English Feminists and their Opponents in the 1790s
Unsex'd and Proper Females
William Stafford  

$102.95 Hardcover
Release Date: 10/1/2002
ISBN: 9780719060823    

320 Pages

Canadian rights only.
Distributed for Manchester University Press


About the Book

English feminists and their opponents in the 1790s examines what sixteen British women, radical and conservative, famous and notorious, wrote about their sex in the 1790s. It offers the most comprehensive survey of what they thought about women as victims, love, sexual desire, marriage, separate spheres and engagement in work, politics and society, gender, female abilities, sensibility and genius.

Texts studied include 'feminist' and conduct material by Wollstonecraft, Hays, Macaulay, Wakefield, Edgeworth and More; historical writings by Williams; and prose fiction by Robinson, Radcliffe, Inchbald, Fenwick, Smith, West, Hamilton and Burney. How contemporary reviewers divided these writers into 'unsex'd' and 'proper' is investigated as is the issue of whether they attempted to exclude women from certain kinds of writing. The book reveals the depth of female complaint, but contends that women did not passively submit. Conservative and radical alike sought to extend their sphere of activity, to reform men, challenged gender stereotypes and proposed that a woman should be a self for herself and her God, rather than for her husband.

This book will be indispensable to academics and students of history, literature, gender, and the history of social and political thought.

About the Author(s)

William Stafford is Professor of History at the University of Huddersfield.

Table of Contents

1. Unsex'd females and proper women writers
2. Our narratives about them
3. Female difficulties: women as victims
4. Love, Marriage and the Family
5. Separate Spheres?
6. Female opportunities: fashioning a self
7. Conclusion


Reviews of this title are not available at this time.

Sample Chapter

A sample chapter of this title is not available at this time. For further information, please email

Related Topics

History > Other
Gender Studies
Women's Studies

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