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Title: An examination of literary, epistolary, and political identities in correspondence, 1790-1800
Author: Addison-Child, Irene
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis reads five examples of correspondence from the perspective of the unique dialogic relationship existing between epistolary partners. It investigates the way published authors, writing in the revolutionary decade of the 1790s, shape affective and ideological subjectivities through their epistolary relationships. Helen Maria Williams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Hays and William Godwin write the primary letters considered by this study. The extant material drawn on includes unpublished manuscripts, and modem scholarly editions, as well as letters that survive only in the ~ tl form they were contemporaneously edited and published. Reading in close conjunction with the authors' published epistolary texts, I examine constructions of the self-determining, radical, female author. This thesis considers the strategies each writer deploys to experiment with unstable constructions of this figure. I consider the use of different epistolary models-for example, female friendship, didactic instruction or seductive love letter-and the variety of related personae inhabited in the interests of finding cohesion. I also pay attention to the reciprocity of epistolary dialogue. By focusing closely on language and context I expose new aspects to the correspondences in question and suggest specific correctives to existing readings of some of the material.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available