British women’s travel writings in the era of the French Revolution

Wang, Tsai-Yeh (2010). British women’s travel writings in the era of the French Revolution. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis intends to investigate how educated British women travellers challenged conventional female roles and how they participated in the political culture in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era. Part One will discuss those who tried hard to challenge or to correct traditionally-defined femininity and to prove themselves useful in their society. Many of them negotiated with and broadened the traditionally defined femininity in this age. Part Two will take Burke and Wollstonecraft’s debate as the central theme in order to discuss chronologically the British women travellers’ political responses to the Revolution controversy. When the Revolution degenerated into Terror and wars, the Burkean view became the main strand of British women travellers’ political thinking. Under the threat of Revolutionary France and during the Napoleonic Wars, a popular conservatism and patriotism developed in Britain. Part Three will use the travel journals of the women who went to France during the Amiens Truce and after the fall of Napoleon in 1814 to analyse the formation of British national identity and nationalism in this period. In the end, these educated British women both stimulated and contributed to the formation of British political and cultural identity at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
D History General and Old World > DC France


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