By Eamon Wright (auth.)
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Additional info for British Women Writers and Race, 1788–1818: Narrations of Modernity
In summary, it may be noted that the years from 1788 to 1818 experienced unprecedented social dislocation and political unrest. During the period of the waning of the Enlightenment and emanation of Romanticism, British society was gripped by dissolution, dissatisfaction and disaffection, in various ways and to varying degrees, with the economic and political complexity of the British ancien regime. There was an economic, political and social reformation of British modernity. In that context there is a rich array of methodological questions to The Romantic Period, Race and Enlightened Feminism 21 address and affirm.
35 But Wollstonecraft carried her reference no further. Rather she asserted her argument about women by echoing an older feminist stance on reason and the condition of womanhood under the weight of patriarchal relations. So her articulation cannot be taken as a direct attack on the institution of slavery, or the economic role of slavery in British commercial interests. While we can accept that Wollstonecraft’s 28 British Women Writers and Race, 1788–1818 fundamental stand on black chattel slavery was that it was, as both Moira Ferguson and Virginia Sapiro have separately argued, an unnatural distinction,36 it may also be noted that Wollstonecraft was not shy in using the imagery of slavery as a rhetoric to fulfil an underlying critique of gender relations.
43 So, direct social benefits of trade, such as cocoa and coffee, similarly outline an important assemblage of values in Austen’s works by which we may appraise that mentality of wealth and welfare. It is evident that Austen clearly recognized as much as well. Even a rudimentary glance at eighteenth-century British economic history would pick up noticeable changes in trading activity, such as import– export profiles. Foreign trade changed dramatically: between 1700 and 1800, there was a shift of emphasis in Britain’s overseas trading accounts, from Europe to the East and the West Indies.
British Women Writers and Race, 1788–1818: Narrations of Modernity by Eamon Wright (auth.)
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