Book review: Bluestockings displayed: portraiture, performance and patronage, 1730-1830
Mary A. Waters. "Bluestockings Displayed: Portraiture, Performance and Patronage, 1730–1830 ed. by Elizabeth Eger (review)." Eighteenth-Century Studies 48.1 (2014): 129-131.
The twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of interest in eighteenth-century women’s intellectual life. Propelled by such books as Harriet Guest’s Small Change: Women, Learning, Patriotism, 1750–1810 and Anne Mellor’s Mothers of the Nation: Women’s Political Writing in England, 1780–1830, both published in 2000, this new turn in research has shredded the twentieth-century commonplace that feminine modesty kept women out of the public sphere. Instead, in sometimes small but nevertheless often recognized and always significant ways, women shaped British arts, cultural identity, and public policy. Among those early influential volumes figured Women, Writing and the Public Sphere, 1700–1830 (2001), a collection Elizabeth Eger edited with Charlotte Grant, Clíona O’Gallchoir, and Penny Warburton. In Bluestockings Displayed, Eger collects twelve essays on a similar topic, and those familiar with her prior work will not be disappointed.
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