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The ‘Dying-Tale’ as Epistemic Strategy in Hemans’s Records of Woman

Aliff, Angela 2020. The ‘Dying-Tale’ as Epistemic Strategy in Hemans’s Records of Woman. Romantic Textualities (23) , pp. 185-199. 10.18573/romtext.79

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Abstract

The personal writings of popular nineteenth-century poet Felicia Hemans indicate her desire to alleviate social constraints on women to improve their education, yet her poetry’s female figures often seem overly attached to domesticity or lacking in emotional fortitude. This paper addresses ways in which a study of early modern female writers of history can inform Hemans scholarship, particularly by drawing on Megan Matchinske’s work on the ‘dying-tale’ in Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam (1613). Similarly, Hemans promotes the necessity of women acting to ensure successful political and personal endurance in ‘The Switzer’s Tale’. Furthermore, in the pedagogy of Records of Woman (1828), Hemans responds to the problem of visual dominance in art by adopting a multi-sensory approach to communication that relies especially on the auditory. This strategy takes part in a broader epistemic approach to history that criticises the reliability of memory and the transience of human bodies. Ultimately, Hemans suggests that transcendence occurs through the exercise of the human will, the ultimate representation of which is martyrdom.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 1748-0116
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 18 September 2019
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 14:10
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/136394

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