Revising Women is a collection of essays by a distinguished group of feminist critics. Each essay is a contribution to the history of the English novel, to our understanding of literature's place in cultural debate, and to women's studies. The essays give steady attention to the ways novels participate in social processes and the ways women perceived the public sphere and stubbornly attempted to participate in it. Rich contextualization and adept use of theory reveal both the individual writer's story and the story beneath the text that is a cultural production with the potential to reveal why we and our society are as we are. Each essay develops ways of using history in relation to literature, takes up large historical events and issues, and interprets in fine detail what individuals do with them. Beginning with the fictions of the late seventeenth century, and ending with Maria Edgeworth and Jane Austen, the essays in Revising Women are characterized by informed historicizing, detailed textual explication, sophisticated feminist theory, and dedicated attention to the interrelationships between life and literary works and between everyday existence and political processes.
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