Janet Todd is one of the leading authorities on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century women writers. She has produced, over a period of more than twenty years, numerous works on, and editions of, the writings of once little-known authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Helen Maria Williams and Charlotte Smith.In this volume Janet Todd discusses women and issues of gender from the Restoration to Romanticism, and the staging of the self that is necessarily a part of the assertiveness of writing. She investigates the complex and often cruel intertwinings of art and life as revealed in women authors and the fascination with culturally privileged art and with heroic death, both of which are encoded as simultaneously 'masculine' and beyond gender.Among the topics discussed are the creation of the artist in the work of Aphra Behn: self fashionings of transgressive eighteenth-century women: Mary Wollstonecraft's suicide attempts: and the vexed attitude of Virginia Woolf to Jane Austen. An introductory essay discusses history, memory, feminist literary biography and the New Historicism.
Janet Todd is the author of several previous books including Feminist Literary History (Polity, 1988).