Abstract

Abstract:

To be a quixote is to be birthed by novels. In late eighteenth-century Britain, longstanding but newly urgent concerns around literary (re)production, the novel, female authorship, and gender roles converge within the fraught figure of the quixote who is also a mother. Focusing on quixotic mothers in general—and Mary Charlton's understudied novel Rosella, or Modern Occurrences (Minerva Press, 1799) in particular—this essay asserts that metaphors of authorship as biological maternity structure late eighteenth-century quixotic narratives' treatment of women's writing and the novel. Through creating a character who simultaneously embodies female authorship, quixotism, and maternity, Charlton suggests how late eighteenth-century quixotic figures provide a means for writers to explore, destabilize, and affirm models of maternal and authorial monstrosity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1512
Print ISSN
0039-3827
Pages
pp. 1-19
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-06
Open Access
No
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