By M. O'Cinneide
Aristocratic girls flourished within the Victorian literary global, their mix of sophistication privilege and gendered exclusion producing distinctively socialized modes of participation in cultural and political task. Their writing deals an important trope in which to think about the character of political, inner most and public spheres. This booklet is an exam of the literary, social, and political importance of the lives and writings of aristocratic girls within the mid-Victorian interval.
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Additional resources for Aristocratic Women and the Literary Nation, 1832-1867 (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture)
In the changing ways in which three generations of aristocratic women writers transform personal experience into published text, we can trace a movement from concern with elite social circles, to a wider spiritual and moral concern with the state of the individual’s soul, a concern that is both distinctly individual and distinctly universal. Yet this attempted alignment between the experience of the privileged individual and the wider community in turn has consequences for the development of a upper-class professional authorial identity in the period, consequences which the next two chapters will address.
It commences with an examination of the generic traditions of autobiography and biography as the Victorians constructed them. The modes of the spiritual, domestic and scandalous memoir take on distinctive connotations in the context of upper-class social status. I then move onto autobiographical fiction, using three generations of aristocratic women writers to trace the changing representation of personal experience between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. Models of Victorian aristocratic authorship gradually emerge that prioritise committed literary engagement with religious and moral values.
Chapter 3 extends these questions of publication and reception into a discussion of the positioning and fate of aristocratic authorship in the mid-century literary marketplace. 21 This page intentionally left blank 1 Aristocratic Lives: Life-Writing, Class and Authority Although this is an autobiography, and consequently I, it is nevertheless not Me. Rosina Bulwer Lytton, Miriam Sedley (1851) I. 1 In this chapter, I consider the ways in which aristocratic women’s life-writing seeks cross-class cultural authority from the narration of elite lives.