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Women, Writing, and Revolution 1790–1827$
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Gary Kelly

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198122722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122722.001.0001

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(p.165) 5 Introduction
Women, Writing, and Revolution 1790–1827

Gary Kelly

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of the aftermath of the Revolution. A major consequence of the Revolution debate was a movement to remasculinize culture and literature against the claims of Revolutionary feminists and feminization by women writers of conventionally masculine discourses to reach a wide readership. As with other historical ‘progressive’ movements, feminisms of various kinds were encouraged or tolerated by male cultural revolutionaries until the movement encountered strong opposition or secured important gains. Though the Revolution debate revealed dangerous divisions within the professional middle-class cultural revolution, the Revolutionary aftermath saw this revolution make increasing gains while encountering increased resistance from elements of ‘Old Corruption’ and increased rivalry from lower-class political movements. The result was that many cultural revolutionaries became less tolerant and more suspicious of feminisms within the cultural revolution, more insistent in excluding women from the public and political sphere, and more determined to appropriate the feminization of culture and politics achieved by women writers in the few decades before 1800.

Keywords:   post-Revolution, French Revolution, feminists, culture, literature, women writers, cultural revolution, feminism

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