Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Reading and sociability in the correspondence networks of Elizabeth Montagu and friends
Author: Orchard, Jack T. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 455X
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 04 Jun 2024
Access from Institution:
This thesis and accompanying digital edition 'Reading and Sociability in the Correspondence of Elizabeth Montagu and Friends' published through Electronic Enlightenment, address the relationships between correspondence network formation and reading practices in the letters of the Bluestocking female intellectuals Catherine Talbot (1721-1770), Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806), and Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800). This study investigates the ways in which the letters they wrote constituted spaces of creative freedom in which they could transform the dominant discourses in their cultural context. Chapter one explores the ways in which the Bluestocking reading of the letters of the French salonniere Madame de Sévigné (1626-1696) both diverged from conventional readings in contemporary print culture, and provided a framework for conceptualizing essential principles of Bluestocking identity, such as rational female creativity, and spiritualized community. Chapter two examines the ways in which the Bluestockings developed and altered aristocratic neoclassical discourses on citizenship and public morality which marginalized and excluded women as political subjects within their letters and print sphere texts like Dialogues of the Dead (1759) and translation of Epictetus (1758), in order to create a language of classical public virtue for bourgeois women. Chapter three begins by examining the correlation between interpretation and coterie power in Montagu's relationship with two beneficiaries of her patronage, the poet James Woodhouse (1735-1820) and the classicist and clergyman Robert Potter (1721-1804). In both of these relationships Potter and Woodhouse fashion their identities and interpretative principles to respond to Montagu's interests. The second half of the chapter addresses Montagu's correspondence with Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, Lord Kames (1696-1782). Here Montagu's attempts to generate an intellectually generative debate are rebuffed by Kames, as he attempts to define their exchange as merely light enjoyment, culminating in his editing of an 'Essay on Ornament' Montagu sent him from a historical-anthropological tract into a guide on interior design.
Supervisor: Franklin, Caroline ; Franklin, Michael J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral