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Love's MadnessMedicine, the Novel, and Female Insanity, 1800-1865$
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Helen Small

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184911.001.0001

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Love-Mad Women and Political Insurrection in Regency Fiction

Love-Mad Women and Political Insurrection in Regency Fiction

(p.105) 4 Love-Mad Women and Political Insurrection in Regency Fiction
Love's Madness

Helen Small

Oxford University Press

The themes of love-madness and war were clearly coming together in fiction of the early 1810s, albeit often in little more than an attempt to enliven otherwise jaded material. Lady Charlotte Bury's Self-Indulgence: A Tale of the Nineteenth Century and Louis Sidney Stanhope's Madelina: A Tale, Founded on Facts (1814) both fended off evident anxieties about the freshness of the convention by placing their love-mad women against the background of contemporary Anglo–French politics. The desire both to entertain and to disown the spectacle of rebellion is evident in the most notorious novel of the 1810s, showing interest in the madwoman as a symbol of Irish rebellion. Lady Caroline Lamb's Glenarvon was a kiss-and-tell account of her affair with Lord Byron. Meanwhile, Ivanhoe overturns the determining features of the love-madness convention, rewriting them in colours of violence.

Keywords:   regency fiction, political insurrection, Louis Sidney Stanhope, Madelina, Glenarvon, Irish rebellion, Anglo–French politics, Ivanhoe

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