Description : In the eighteenth century, when the definition of marriage was shifting from one based on an hierarchical model to one based on notions of love and mutuality, marital life came under a more intense cultural scrutiny. This led to paradoxical forms of representation of marriage as simultaneously ideal and unlivable. Chris Roulston analyzes how, as representations of married life increased, they challenged the traditional courtship model, offering narratives based on repetition rather than progression. Beginning with English and French marital advice literature, which appropriated novelistic conventions at the same time that it cautioned readers about the dangers of novel reading, she looks at representations of ideal marriages in Pamela II and The New Heloise. Moving on from these ideal domestic spaces, bourgeois marriage is then problematized by the discourse of empire in Sir George Ellison and Letters of Mistress Henley, by troublesome wives in works by Richardson and Samuel de Constant, and by abusive husbands in works by Haywood, Edgeworth, Genlis and Restif de la Bretonne. Finally, the alternative marriage narrative, in which the adultery motif is incorporated into the marriage itself, redefines the function of heteronormativity. In exploring the theoretical issues that arise during this transitional period for married life and the marriage plot, Roulston expands the debates around the evolution of the modern couple.
Description : This book examines the intersections between the ways that marriage was represented in eighteenth-century writing and art, experienced in society, and regulated by law. The interdisciplinary and comparative essays explore the marital experience beyond the ‘matrimonial barrier’ to encompass representations of married life including issues of spousal abuse, parenting, incest, infidelity and the period after the end of marriage, to include annulment, widowhood and divorce. The chapters range from these focuses on legal and social histories of marriage to treatments of marriage in eighteenth-century periodicals, to depictions of married couples and families in eighteenth-century art, to parallels in French literature and diaries, to representations of violence and marriage in Gothic novels, and to surveys of same-sex partnerships. The volume is aimed towards students and scholars working in the long eighteenth century, gender studies, women’s writing, publishing history, and art and legal historians.
Description : In The Portrait Bust and French Cultural Politics in the Eighteenth Century, Ronit Milano probes the aesthetic and intellectual charge of a remarkably concise art form, and its role in the construction of modern identity, during a seismic moment in French history.
Description : Friendship has always been a universal category of human relationships and an influential motif in literature, but it is rarely discussed as a theme in its own right. In her study of how friendship gives direction and shape to new ideas and novel strategies of plot, character formation, and style in the British novel from the 1760s to the 1830s, Katrin Berndt argues that friendship functions as a literary expression of philosophical values in a genre that explores the psychology and the interactions of the individual in modern society. In the literary historical period in which the novel became established as a modern genre, friend characters were omnipresent, reflecting enlightenment philosophy’s definition of friendship as a bond that civilized public and private interactions and was considered essential for the attainment of happiness. Berndt’s analyses of genre-defining novels by Frances Brooke, Mary Shelley, Sarah Scott, Helen Maria Williams, Charlotte Lennox, Walter Scott, Jane Austen, and Maria Edgeworth show that the significance of friendship and the increasing variety of novelistic forms and topics represent an overlooked dynamic in the novel’s literary history. Contributing to our understanding of the complex interplay of philosophical, socio-cultural and literary discourses that shaped British fiction in the later Hanoverian decades, Berndt’s book demonstrates that novels have conceived the modern individual not in opposition to, but in interaction with society, continuing Enlightenment debates about how to share the lives and the experiences of others.