Other Enlightenment How French Women Became Modern

Other Enlightenment How French Women Became Modern
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  • ISBN-13: 9780691114804
  • ISBN: 0691114803
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr


Hesse, Carla


"The Other Enlightenmentis a masterpiece of analytic clarity and historical acumen. Focusing on women's writing rather than on discourses about women, Carla Hesse shows that the French Revolution provided women with unprecedented access to print culture. Never again would the number of published women writers sink to pre-revolutionary levels. Anyone interested in women's access to bourgeois modernity will have to read this pathbreaking book."--Toril Moi, author ofWhat is a Woman? "Carla Hesse has given us an astonishing new look at women's struggle for independent expression and moral autonomy during the French Revolution and afterward. Denied the political and civil rights of men, literary women plunged into the expanded world of publication, answering the men's philosophical treatises with provocative novels about women's choices and chances. Lively and learned,The Other Enlightenmentlinks women from Madame de Stael to Simone de Beauvoir in an alternate and daring path to the modern."--Natalie Zemon Davis, author ofThe Return of Martin Guerre "Hesse takes the history of women and gender into exciting new territory. She gives women of the past a chance to talk back, to tell their stories, and to reveal how an alternative history can be discovered through their writings and even through the very act of writing. Hesse's groundbreaking evidence about women writers and their publications is bound to stimulate new work for years to come. Combining print history with literary and philosophical analysis, she argues a provocative and important thesis: that the growing market economy in print offered women new opportunities for self expression through fiction and for making public claims to moral autonomy. Women thus managed to define their own worlds, even as their public and private lives were legally subjugated to those of their fathers and husbands."--Lynn Hunt, University of California, Los Angeles "Hesse combines an insightful reading of key figures in the history of French women's letters with an astute understanding of the role of print culture in the making of modern society. She has produced a highly readable, extremely persuasive book. Against those who see the rise of modern society as erecting barriers to women's full equality and independence, Hesse finds cause for greater optimism."--Joan B. Landes, Pennsylvania State University "This book is a long-awaited tour-de-force by a major historian. It is sure to become an instant and enduring classic in French history and literary studies, a provocative and compelling argument to be reckoned with by anyone concerned about the possibilities for female subjectivity and women's full participation in modern Western culture and public life."--Margaret Waller, Pomona CollegeHesse, Carla is the author of 'Other Enlightenment How French Women Became Modern', published 2003 under ISBN 9780691114804 and ISBN 0691114803.

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