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Happiness and Ideological Reconfiguration in the Revolutionary Novels of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays (1788-1799)

Isabelle Bour    Université Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle, France    

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abstract

In the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays, the attack on patriarchy paradoxically does not leave much room for happiness, as it is combined with an inscription of femininity within the paradigm of sensibility. Sensibility, though reviled by Wollstonecraft in some of her works, functions as a plot matrix, which neutralizes the rational arguments of the female protagonist (in fiction) or the pamphleteer (in polemical essays). Furthermore, Wollstonecraft and Hays are more concerned with justice than with the search for happiness. 

Published
June 30, 2015
Language
EN