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Real and Imagined Women in British Romanticism


Gaura Shankar Narayan

Real and Imagined Women in British Romanticism uses feminist ideology and deconstructive criticism to reconstruct the cultural context embedded in Romantic canonical texts. To achieve this end, the book undertakes a close textual study of these texts and places them in the intellectual context of Mary Wollstonecraft’s critique of culture. As a result of intellectual contextualizing as well as theoretical applications, the Romantic imagination, as represented by William Wordsworth and John Keats, emerges as the place where gender division and gender certitude break down. This book intervenes in the traditional critical debates about the Romantic imagination to show that the Romantic imagination, as set forth in these texts, registers the vigorous cultural politics of gender and aesthetics that defined the 1790s and continued to exert influence for decades.


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Index 195


Index R A “Aella” (Chatteron), 77 aesthetic, female, 19 affect, 68, 71 affectation, Keats accused of, 127 agency denial of to women, 50 of female reader in “Tintern Abbey,” 86 Alexander, Meena, 70 Alvarez, A., 56 androgyny, 82–83 angels, women compared to, 60, 61 Apollonius. See “Lamia”; Lamia (character) Arnold, Matthew, 1, 81, 90–91, 129–30 Austen, Jane, 37–39 autobiography, 93 autonarration, 117 B ballad, supernatural, 77, 78–79, 152–53, 155 Barker, Juliet, 99–100 Barker-Benfield, G. J., 58 Bate, Walter Jackson, 130 Bearing the Word (Homans), 115 Beaupuy, Michel, 110–11 beauty Burke’s concept of and madness, 26 class of, 147 as definitive of femininity, 48 equated with female body, 146–47 gender implications of, 48 gender of, 147 in Philosophical Enquiry, 48–51 and sublimity, 48, 49, 51, 69, 71 Wollstonecraft on, 27 Wollstonecraft’s attack on Burke’s concept of, 47, 50–51 “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (Freud), 150 Blake, William, 2–3, 20 blank, figure of, 62–63 Bloom, Harold, 149 body, female beauty equated with, 147 Burkean biases of, 142 Burke on, 49–50 Keats’s use of in “Lamia,” 146–47 The Borderers (Wordsworth), 76 Borderlines (Wolfson), 3–4, 131 Brett, A. L., 74 Brooks, Peter, 150 Brown, Charles, 148 Burger, G. A., 77 Burke, Edmund abhorrence of luxury of feminized beauty, 28 aesthetic of, 70–71 articulation of taxonomies of gender, 127 on beauty, 26, 48–51, 146–47 on chivalry, 40–41 deployment of sentimentalized masculinity, 22 endorsement of cultural constructions...

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