Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 July 2010

252 Pages

9.2 x 6.1 inches

ISBN: 9780719082177

Bookseller Code (06)


English feminists and their opponents in the 1790s

Unsex'd and proper females

William Stafford

Published by Manchester University Press

  • Unsex'd and Proper Females examines what sixteen British women, radical and conservative, famous and notorious, wrote about their sex in the 1790
  • Offers a comprehensive survey of what women thought about love, sexual desire, women as victims, marriage, separate spheres and engagement in work, politics and society, gender, female abilities, sensibility and genius
  • Investiagtes how contemporary reviewers divided these writers into 'unsex'd' and 'proper' is investigated as is the issue of whether they attempted to exclude women from certain kinds of writing
  • Reveals the depth of female complaint, but contends that women did not passively submit, conservative and radical alike sought to extend their sphere of activity, to reform men, challenge gender stereotypes and propose that a woman should be a self for herself and her God, rather than for her husband
  • Texts studied include material by Wollstonecraft, Hays, Macaulay, Wakefield, Edgeworth and More; historical writings by Williams; and prose fiction by Robinson, Radcliffe, Inchbald, Fenwick, Smith, West, Hamilton and Burne

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