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Item Details
Title: MADAME DE STAEL
THE DANGEROUS EXILE
By: Angelica Goodden
Format: Hardback

List price: £95.00
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ISBN 10: 019923809X
ISBN 13: 9780199238095
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-3 weeks.
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Publisher: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Pub. date: 6 March, 2008
Pages: 344
Description: Madame de Stael's celebrity as a novelist, literary critic, and theorist made her the most famous woman in Europe in her day, on a par with her greatest foe, Napoleon. Yet almost all of her bestselling writings were the product of exile, to which she was repeatedly condemned for her political daring. Angelica Goodden explores the paradoxes of de Stael's existence.
Synopsis: How does exile beget writing, and writing exile? What kind of writing can both be fuelled by absence and prolong it? Exile, which was meant to imprison her, paradoxically gave Madame de Stael a freedom that enabled her to be as active a dissident as any woman in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was capable of being. Repeatedly banished for her nonconformism, she felt she had been made to suffer twice over, first for political daring and then for daring, as a woman, to be political (a particularly grave offence in the eyes of the misogynist Napoleon). Yet her outspokenness - in novels, comparative literary studies, and works of political and social theory - made her seem as much a threat outside her beloved France as within it, while her friendship with statesmen, soldiers, and literary figures such as Byron, Fanny Burney, Goethe, and Schiller simply added to her dangerous celebrity. She preached the virtues of liberalism and freedom wherever she went, turning the experiences of her enforced absence into an arsenal to use against all who tried to suppress her. Even Napoleon, perhaps her greatest foe, conceded, from his own exile on St Helena that she would last.Her unremitting activity as a speaker and writer made her into precisely the sort of activist no woman at that time was permitted to be; yet she paradoxically remained a reluctant feminist, seeming even to connive at the inferior status society granted her sex at the same time as vociferously challenging it, and remaining torn by the conflicting demands of public and private life.
Publication: UK
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Returns: Returnable
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