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Translators, Interpreters, Mediators

Women Writers 1700-1900


Gillian Dow

This collection comprises selected essays from a conference held at Chawton House Library in March 2006. It focuses on women writers as translators who interpreted and mediated across cultural boundaries and between national contexts in the period 1700-1900. In this period, which saw women writers negotiating their right to central positions in the literary marketplace, attitudes to and enthusiasm for translations were never fixed. This volume contributes to our understanding of the waxing and waning of the importance of translation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Rejecting from the outset the notion of translations as ‘defective females’, each essay engages with the author it discusses as an innovator, and investigates to what extent she viewed her labours not as hack-work, nor as an interpretation of the original text, but rather as a creative original. Authors discussed are from Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey and North America and include figures now best known for their other publications, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Isabelle de Charrière, Therese Huber and Elizabeth Barrett Browning as well as lesser-known writers such as Fatma Aliye, Anna Jameson and Anne Gilchrist.
Contents: Gillian Dow: Introduction – Hilary Brown: Luise Gottsched and the reception of French enlightenment literature in Germany – Séverine Genieys-Kirk: Eliza Haywood’s translation and dialogic reading of Madeleine-Angelique de Gomez’s Journées amusantes (1722-1731) – Beatrijs Vanacker: ‘On the inconstancy, the perfidy and deceit of mankind in love affairs’: Eliza Haywood’s translation of La paysanne parvenue – Annie Cointre: Garrick and Colman’s Clandestine Marriage translated by Mme Riccoboni and the Baronne de Vasse – Laura Kirkley: Elements of the other: Mary Wollstonecraft and translation – Katherine Astbury: Translating the revolution: Therese Huber and Isabelle de Charrière’s Lettres trouvées dans des portes-feuilles d’émigrés – Adeline Johns-Putra: Anna Seward’s translations of Horace: poetic dress, poetic matter and the lavish paraphrase – María Jesús Lorenzo Modia/Begoña Lasa Álvarez: From Britain to Spain via France: Amelia Opie’s The Father and Daughter – Mary Orr: Women and daughters of genius: Mrs Barbara Hofland and Mlle Clémentine Cuvier – Nagihan Haliloğlu: Translation as cultural negotiation: the case of Fatma Aliye – Christa Zeller Thomas: ‘I shall take to translating’: transformation, translation, and transgression in Anna Jameson’s Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada – Elisabeth Lenckos: ‘Stimulus and cheer’: Margaret Fuller’s ‘Translations’, from Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe to Bettina von Arnim’s Guenderode – Berry Chevasco: ‘La Prude Angleterre’: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cultural relativism – Pierre Degott: Natalia Macfarren (1827-1916): a nineteenth-century translator/mediator for the operatic cause – Jenny Higgins: French poetry and prose in fin-de-siècle England: how women translators broke new ground.