Autobiography and publication
This chapter looks at occasions in a variety of Romantic-period texts when they consider themselves as autobiographies, or address the moment when self-writing becomes public. There is a particular interest in apologetic or defensive positions; at such moments, autobiographical writing reflects the uncertain status of the genre in the literary public sphere. Instances are read in works by Carlyle, Wordsworth, Wollstonecraft, Catherine Cary, Percival Stockdale, Thomas Scott, and others. The chapter ends by suggesting that autobiographical acts in the period are best understood as transactions; all self-writing is engaged in negotiating the conditions under which it is published and read.
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