"Memoirs of Emma Courtney" by Mary Hays. Published by Good Press. Good Press publishes a wide range of titles that encompasses every genre. From well-known classics & literary fiction and non-fiction to forgotten−or yet undiscovered gems−of world literature, we issue the books that need to be read. Each Good Press edition has been meticulously edited and formatted to boost readability for all e-readers and devices. Our goal is to produce eBooks that are user-friendly and accessible to everyone in a high-quality digital format.
Mary Hays was born in 1759 into a middle class family in the London borough of Southwark. An independent spirit, at the age of 32 she was given a copy of Mary Wollstonecraft's 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman', and immediately became a convert to its proto-feminist philosophy. Writing under the pseudonym 'Eusebia', Hays published extensively, and was introduced to the reformer William Frend, a meeting which, for Hays, soon blossomed into something more than mere friendship. Against all contemporary social mores, Hays confessed her love to William Frend in explicit terms - but was summarily rebuffed. She nevertheless continued to pursue the object of her desires via letters and meetings, but with no more success (Frend married Sara Blackburne in 1808). Bitterly disappointed, Hays channeled her feelings into 'Memoirs of Emma Courtney', a semi-autobiographical novel that, like Hays herself, broke all the rules. Her heroine Emma falls in love with the handsome, enigmatic Augustus, but for reasons that he will never fully explain, Augustus refuses to return her affection. Emma will not be denied and, feeling her love to be pure, and her desires likewise, she lays bare to Augustus the innermost feelings of her heart, in terms that offended every Victorian value on 'appropriate' female conduct. Even more shocking, most of the missives in the novel were taken verbatim from Mary Hays' own explicit letters to William Frend. The book was execrated in many quarters as being 'in all points reprehensible, in the highest degree'. Even then, not everyone agreed, and modern-day critics have hailed 'Emma' as a pioneering work of feminist literature. On one level it is a simple tale of romance, of passion and ultimately (when Emma discovers, too late, Augustus' true feelings for her) of tragedy. But at the same time the book exposes a deeper tragedy: the lack of female education, the denial of female sexuality, and the 'criminal' curtailment of their potential.
Enlarging the Canon of the Mary Wollstonecraft Literary-philosophical Circle
Author: Helena Bergmann
Category: Literary Criticism
Mary Hays' first novel is made subject to a close reading giving the reader evidence of the author's perception of an enlightened future society which allows men and women to live in companionship and promoting the idea of increased female education.
The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars. Western literary study flows out of eighteenth-century works by Alexander Pope, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Frances Burney, Denis Diderot, Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and others. Experience the birth of the modern novel, or compare the development of language using dictionaries and grammar discourses. ++++ The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to insure edition identification: ++++ British Library T114712 London: printed for G. G. and J. Robinson, 1796. 2v.; 12°
Mary Hays (1759-1843) is often best remembered for her early revolutionary novels The Memoirs of Emma Courtney and The Victim of Prejudice. In this collection, however, Gina Luria Walker reveals the extraordinary range of Hays’s oeuvre. The selections are mainly from Hays’s non-fiction writings, including letters, life-writing, political commentary, and essays. The extracts demonstrate her importance as an advanced and innovative thinker, philosophical commentator, and writer of deliberately experimental fiction. This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and full annotation. Texts by numerous other writers are interleaved chronologically with Hays’s writings to illustrate her idiosyncratic intellectual genealogy, how her understanding modulated over time, and the multiple ways in which she influenced and was influenced by the most significant issues and figures of her age.
Mary Hays, reformist, novelist, and innovative thinker, has been waiting two hundred years to be judged in a fair, scholarly, and comprehensive way. During her lifetime and long after, her role in the ongoing reformist debates in England at the end of the eighteenth century, intensified by the French Revolution, served as a lightening rod for opponents who attacked her controversial stance on women's intellectual competence and human rights. The author's intellectual history of Hays finally makes the case for her importance as an innovator. She was a feminist thinker who advanced notions of tolerance that included women, an educator who broke new ground for female autodidacts, a philosophical commentator who translated Enlightenment ideas for a burgeoning female audience, a Dissenting historiographer who reinvented 'female biography,' and a writer of deliberately experimental fiction, including the roman à clef Memoirs of Emma Courtney. The author approaches Hays from several disciplinary perspectives-historical, biographical, literary, critical, theological, and political-to elucidate the multiple ways in which Hays contributed and responded to, and influenced and was influenced by, the most significant issues and figures of her time.
Romanticism has often been associated with the mode of lyric, or otherwise confined within mainstream genres. As a result, we have neglected the sheer diversity and generic hybridity of a literature that ranged from the Gothic novel to the national tale, from monthly periodicals to fictionalized autobiography. In this volume leading scholars of the period explore the ways in which the Romantics developed genre from a taxonomical given into a cultural category, so as to make it the scene of an ongoing struggle between fixed norms and new initiatives. Focusing on non-canonical writers (such as Thelwall, Godwin and the novelists of the 1790s), or placing authors such as Wordsworth and Byron in a non-canonical context, these essays explore the psychic and social politics of genre from a variety of theoretical perspectives, while the introduction looks at how genre itself was rethought by Romantic criticism.
Disguise and Female Identity in Eighteenth-century Fictions by Women
Author: Catherine Craft-Fairchild
Publisher: Penn State Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Terry Castle's recent study of masquerade follows Bakhtin's analysis of the carnivalesque to conclude that, for women, masquerade offered exciting possibilities for social and sexual freedom. Castle's interpretation conforms to the fears expressed by male writers during the period&—Addison, Steele, and Fielding all insisted that masquerade allowed women to usurp the privileges of men. Female authors, however, often mistrusted these claims, perceiving that masquerade's apparent freedoms were frequently nothing more than sophisticated forms of oppression. Catherine Craft-Fairchild's work provides a useful corrective to Castle's treatment of masquerade. She argues that, in fictions by Aphra Behn, Mary Davys, Eliza Haywood, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Frances Burney, masquerade is double-sided. It is represented in some cases as a disempowering capitulation to patriarchal strictures that posit female subordination. Often within the same text, however, masquerade is also depicted as an empowering defiance of the dominant norms for female behavior. Heroines who attempt to separate themselves from the image of womanhood they consciously construct escape victimization. In both cases, masquerade is the condition of femininity: gender in the woman's novel is constructed rather than essential. Craft-Fairchild examines the guises in which womanhood appears, analyzing the ways in which women writers both construct and deconstruct eighteenth-century cultural conceptions of femininity. She offers a careful and engaging textual analysis of both canonical and noncanonical eighteenth-century texts, thereby setting lesser-read fictions into a critical dialogue with more widely known novels. Detailed readings are informed throughout by the ideas of current feminist theorists, including Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Mary Ann Doane, and Kaja Silverman. Instead of assuming that fictions about women were based on biological fact, Craft-Fairchild stresses the opposite: the domestic novel itself constructs the domestic woman.