The Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1680-1760 by Toni BowersThe Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1680-1760 by Toni Bowers

The Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1680-1760

byToni Bowers

Paperback | September 26, 2005

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Through detailed examination of a wide variety of novels, plays, sermons, songs, popular engravings, portraiture, and propaganda from the period, Toni Bowers examines the eighteenth-century struggle to develop new ideals for virtuous womanhood. She shows how popular representations of mothers codified and enforced a model of motherhood naturally and inevitably, removed from participation in the public world, and presented other ideals as monstrous. At the same time, she points out, some of the most influential texts resisted the newly reduced vision of maternal excellence by imagining alternatives to domesticity and dependence. Addressing broader social and cultural issues, and drawing radical comparisons between past and present, Bowers argues that Western culture continues to be limited by its commitment to the contradictory maternal ideals established in eighteenth-century discourse.
Title:The Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1680-1760Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.59 inPublished:September 26, 2005Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521020336

ISBN - 13:9780521020336

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Table of Contents

Introduction: historicising motherhood; Part I. Royal Motherhood: Queen Anne and the Politics of Maternal Representation: 1. 'The teeming Princess of Denmark': Anne as mother, 1684-1700; 2. 'Thy nursing mother': symbolic maternity and royal authority at the coronation of Queen Anne; 3. Symbolic maternity and practical politics in Queen Anne's England; Part II. Monstrous Motherhood: Violence, Difference, and the Subversion of Maternal Ideals: 4. 'Unnatural' motherhood in two novels by Daniel Defoe; 5. Dreams of maternal autonomy: scandalous motherhood in three tales by Eliza Haywood; 6. Maternal failure and socio-economic difference: the unnatural mother; Part III. Domestic Motherhood: Constraint, Complicity, and the Failure of Maternal Authority: 7. Female virtue and maternal authority in Pamela, Part 2; 8. Maternal virtue and maternal failure in Clarissa; Conclusion: going public: the case of Lady Sarah Pennington; Appendix.

Editorial Reviews

"Tony Bowers' The Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1680-1760...makes a crucial contribution to understanding the period, demonstrating that the late eighteenth-century ideal of the private, nurturing, domestic mother was codified at least a generation earlier. The Politics of Motherhood adds considerably to the body of work recently published on eighteenth-century maternity and sexuality...." Amanda Gilroy, The Wordsworth Circle