The limits of Barbauld's feminism: re-reading "The Rights of Woman"

Bradshaw, Penelope (2005) The limits of Barbauld's feminism: re-reading "The Rights of Woman".

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Official URL: 10.1080/1050958042000338534


This essay considers the evidence by which our critical understanding of Barbauld's attitude toward eighteenth-century feminist debates has been reconstructed and questions current critical interpretations of her position on the gender politics of the period. It focuses on her widely anthologized poem “The Rights of Woman” and examines why this text has been frequently interpreted as a reactionary response to Wollstonecraftian feminism. The essay challenges this assumption and, after considering a range of textual and contextualizing evidence, argues that far from revealing hostility to the cause of women's rights, this poem actually offers a perceptive analysis of the ideological and legal impediments to that cause.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: 305 Social groups (incl. class, race & gender), 821 English poetry, 002 The Work
Members: University of Cumbria
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2011 09:15
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 13:03

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