Abstract

This essay explores how the eighteenth-century automaton operates as a pervasive model for the instability of female subject-formation in Burney's novels, and the affective dilemmas involved in ritual acts of "coming out" in eighteenth-century society. It argues that few models of subjectivity compel and thwart Burney more than the capacious figure of the eighteenth-century automaton and its well-modulated displays of openness and inwardness, whether captured in marvelous toys, the strict patterns of conduct book femininity, or the carefully crafted characters of a novel.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 23-49
Launched on MUSE
2006-09-26
Open Access
No
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