Memoirs of Emma Courtney

Memoirs of Emma Courtney

eBook - 2000
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Broadview Press

“This wonderful formerly obscure novel now yields the intellectual excitement and scandalous frisson that it generated upon publication.” —Sandra Sherman, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


In November of 1795, after William Godwin requested a sketch of Mary Hays life, she arrived at the idea of Memoirs of Emma Courtney. Godwin followed up his request with a "hint" that a fictional exploration of the painful experience she had undergone in her relationship with William Frend might help her to come to terms with it. It was to be an "instructive rather than self indulgent" work. The resulting novel is one of the most interesting and important explorations of gender-related issues of the time. Emma is exposed to a series of situationsâ??motherlessness, orphanhood, poverty, dependence, and moreâ??which encourage her to reflect "on the inequalities of society, the source of every misery and vice, and on the peculiar disadvanteges of my sex." The novel quickly became viewed as "a scandalous disrobing in public" but is has endured as much on the basis of its readability as on its pointed social commentary.
In November of 1795, after William Godwin requested a sketch of Mary Hays life, she arrived at the idea of Memoirs of Emma Courtney. Godwin followed up his request with a "hint" that a fictional exploration of the painful experience she had undergone in her relationship with William Frend might help her to come to terms with it. It was to be an "instructive rather than self indulgent" work. The resulting novel is one of the most interesting and important explorations of gender-related issues of the time. Emma is exposed to a series of situationsâ??motherlessness, orphanhood, poverty, dependence, and moreâ??which encourage her to reflect "on the inequalities of society, the source of every misery and vice, and on the peculiar disadvanteges of my sex." The novel quickly became viewed as "a scandalous disrobing in public" but is has endured as much on the basis of its readability as on its pointed social commentary.

Publisher: Peterborough, Ont. : Broadview Press, 2000
ISBN: 9780585236490
0585236496
1551113147
1551111551
Characteristics: 1 online resource (340 p.)
Additional Contributors: Brooks, Marilyn L.

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