Characteristics of Women: Moral, Poetical and Historical

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Characteristics of Women (1832) by Anna Jameson was the first attempt by a woman to analyse the characteristics of twenty-three heroines of Shakespeare's plays. In this book, Jameson, an English writer, feminist, and art historian, addresses problems of women's education and participation in public life while providing insightful and original readings of Shakespeare's women. She divides the heroines into four classes, two of which - characters of intellect and characters of passion and imagination - are discussed in Volume 1. Portia, Isabella, Beatrice, and Rosalind - the characters of intellect - are sufficiently connected by that common tie and are distinct from Juliet, Helena, Perdita, Viola, Ophelia, and Miranda, who are categorised as characters of passion and imagination. Illustrated with fifty attractive etchings made by the author herself, this eloquent book is a must-have for Shakespeare collectors, students of women's studies and others interested in nineteenth-century literary criticism.