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Title: Female manners and morals : conduct books and their reflection in the novels of Frances Burney and Maria Edgeworth
Author: Balint, Piroska M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 2390
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis attempts to discover late eighteenth-century ideals of feminine behaviour. It reveals women’s manners, morals and roles in society through two types of literary genres, the conduct book and the novel. The examination of the rules of behaviour which were designed for women to form their manners and morals both in the conduct books and in the selected novels enables us to determine the ideal that middle-class girls had to become in the turn of the century. I will look in detail at a number of eighteenth-century sources, including the most popular texts such as Hugh Blair’s Sermons, James Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women, Hester Chapone’s Letters on the Improvement of the Mind, Addressed to a Young Lady and John Gregory’s A Father’s Legacy to His Daughters. The analysis of the novels of two important early woman novelists, Frances Burney and Maria Edgeworth, is an important aspect of this thesis. I provide a context for understanding the conduct-book ideology in their novels and highlight those manners, morals and modes of behaviour that the authors designed to teach their female readers. My aim throughout is to bring to light the ways in which the selected works of Burney and Edgeworth functioned as conduct books. It is important to readdress this subject matter as there has been little done, and mainly by some older school of critics, in discussing the ways Burney’s and Edgeworth’s works support the conduct-book ideology. My thesis, I hope, will add to the ongoing discussion by demonstrating how Burney’s and Edgeworth’s novels reinforce the conduct-book ideology and how they were, perhaps, read as conduct books.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available