Marie Jeanne Riccoboni’s Poetry: Rescued from the Flames and Piracy
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Marie Jeanne Riccoboni (1713–92) produced poetry and works in other genres, while simultaneously battling piracy and championing her proto-feminist cause. This article recuperates Riccoboni’s poetry from silence, while also analyzing her poetry as an unusual collaborative venture between the author and her publisher Humblot. The poems were targeted at defending her reputation and oeuvre: in 1757 another male publisher had pirated her bestselling first novel, Lettres de Fanny Butlerd (1757), and appropriated and exploited her poetic voice by appending poems he fraudulently attributed to her. I disprove this publisher’s claims while authenticating Riccoboni’s poems of 1760 through a comparison with her early fiction and journalistic essays, uncovering, in the fraudulent poems, an androcentric perspective of male supremacy and female inferiority and rediscovering, in the authentic poems, a feminocentric perspective where women are depicted positively and as subjects rather than objects.


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