British Women Writers and the Profession of Literary Criticism, 1789-1832

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This book examines professional literary criticism by Romantic-era British women to reveal that, while developing a conscious professionalism, women literary critics helped to shape the aesthetic models that defined Romantic-era literary values and made the British literary heritage a source of national pride. Women critics understood the contested nature of aesthetics and the public implications of aesthetic values on questions such as morality, both public and private, the nation's cultural heritage, even the essential qualities of Britishness itself.