Anna Brownwell Jameson (1794-1869) was a central figure in the London world of letters and art in the early Victorian period, and an important feminist writer. Her friends included such figures as Harriet Martineau, Lady Byron, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This study considers her life and works, using a different Jameson work as the central focus of each chapter. The author considers the particular non-fiction discourse in which the work is written, as well as such issues as gender and colonialism. Arranged chronologically, the book also charts the growth and development of a determined feminism in the vital years of the early Victorian period, and compares Jameson to her contemporaries.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; ’A silent existence’: women and biography; The riddle of history: unhistorical women; Writing Romeo out: rereading Shakespeare’s women; ’Only a traveller’s tale’: gendered discourse in professional travel writing; Metamorphosed and translated: interpreting the terra incognita; Invading the house of Titian: the colonisation of Italian art; Alien aesthetics and the representation of women; ’Throwing down the partition walls’: feminist dialectics and professional work for women; Locations of the major manuscript collections; Bibliography; Works cited.
'This well-researched, well-documented book, with its chronology of Jameson’s life and writing, poses a number of questions about the literary life of the time. Useful supplementary reading for graduate level literature and women’s studies classes’ Choice 'To feminist critics working in the Victorian period, Anna Jameson: Victorian, Feminist, Woman of Letters characterizes an exceptional predecessor in our line of work. To all students of nineteenth-century British and North American cultural history, this book is a constructive contribution, filling in many blanks in the lineage of middle-class women’s movements as well as middle-brow reception of arts and literature...Those committed to finding out more about Jameson and the extraordinary network of mutual support that she fostered will absorb this erudite and substantial book.' Victorian Studies