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Readers, Writers, Salonnières

Female Networks in Europe, 1700-1900


Hilary Brown and Gillian Dow

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw an explosion in Europe of interest in foreign languages and literatures. This book explores how early generations of women writers formed connections with each other across national boundaries. The volume sheds light on female networks spanning Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland and Denmark. It includes essays on ‘virtual’ networks, that is, on women who read, translated or were inspired by the work of women abroad, as well as essays exploring actual links between writers of different nationalities, be it through correspondence, visits or contact in the salons. The essays gathered here engage with a wide range of published and unpublished sources, from novels and poetry to autobiography and letters. They discuss writers whose work is becoming increasingly well known, such as Maria Edgeworth, Germaine de Staël, Rahel Varnhagen and George Sand, as well as those who are less familiar. Together, they open up new perspectives on the activities of these early women of letters and on the development of the European female literary tradition.
The volume is based on selected papers from a conference held at Chawton House Library in 2008 in conjunction with the pan-European ‘New Approaches to European Women’s Writing’ research project.
Contents: Hilary Brown/Gillian Dow: Introduction – Marianna D’Ezio: Literary and Cultural Intersections between British and Italian Women Writers and Salonnières during the Eighteenth Century – Eve-Marie Lampron: From Venice to Paris: Fame, Gender and National Sensibilities in Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Female Literary Networks – Marjanne E. Goozé: Mimicry and Influence: The ‘French’ Connection and the Berlin Jewish Salon – Nicole Pohl: European Networks: Dorothea von Kurland’s Salons – Laura Kirkley: Translating Rousseauism: Transformations of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s Paul et Virginie in the Works of Helen Maria Williams and Maria Edgeworth – Suzan Van Dijk: Sociability and Mentoring by Correspondence: George Sand and Contemporary Female Writers – Elisabeth Jay: British Women Writers and the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Parisian Salon – Kerstin Wiedemann: Intertextuality and Network Creation: References to George Sand in Novels by Mid-Nineteenth-Century German Women Writers – Ursula Jung: The Reception of Germaine de Staël and George Sand among Female Novelists in Nineteenth-Century Spain – Gesa Stedman: Passion and Talent, Fulfilment or Death? Germaine de Staël’s Novel Corinne Crosses the Channel – Máire Fedelma Cross: Salons sans Frontières: Flora Tristan’s Reader and Writer – Alison E. Martin: Daughters of Science: Mathilde Ørsted, Leonora and Joanna Horner – Daphne M. Hoogenboezem: Marvel, Feminism and Reason: Rewriting Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy’s Fairy Tales for Dutch Children.