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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

'I have always been half in love with him' Seminar

17:00 - 18:45
14 March 2012
Room 1173 Faculty of Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Professor Ulrike Meinhof on 02380 592255 or email .

Event details

Transnational rewritings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the works of Isabelle de Montolieu and Mary Wollstonecraft.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse was one of the first great international bestsellers. Several scholars have now observed the profound impact that Rousseau's novel had on women across Europe, including Revolutionary feminists and women writers who scorned his gender politics. This paper focuses on two such women: Isabelle de Montolieu and Mary Wollstonecraft.

It shall argue that Wollstontecraft's novels, Mary, a fiction (1788) and Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman (1798) constitute feminist critical commentaries both of Rousseau's La Nouvelle Héloïse and Montolieu's rewriting of it, Caroline de Lichtfield. Equally, however, Wollstonecraft's feminism and revolutionary politics are influenced by the liberatory potential of Rousseau's shifting philosophical positions.

Speaker information

Dr Laura Kirkley,Trinity Hall Cambridge

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