Women Writing the Nation
National Identity, Female Community, and the British-French Connection, 1770-1820
Women Writing the Nation engages in recent discussions of the development of British nationalism during the eighteenth century and Romantic period. Leanne Maunu argues that women writers looked not to their national identity, but rather to their gender identity to make claims about the role of women within the British nation. Women writers wanted to make it seem as if they were writing as members of a fairly stable community, even if such a community was composed of many different women with many different beliefs. They appropriated the model of collectivity posed by the nation, mimicking a national imagined community. In essence, because British-French relations dominated the national imagination, women had to think about their own gender concerns in national terms as well.
About the author:
Leanne Maunu is Associate Professor of English at Palomar College.