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. Jameson classifies the heroines into four categories, two of which - characters of affection and historical characters - are presented in Volume 2. Hermione, Desdemona, Imogen, and Cordelia are the characters in whom moral sentiments and affections predominate, while Cleopatra, Octavia, Volumnia, Constance of Bretagne, Elinor of Guienne, Blanche of Castile, Margaret of Anjou, Katherine of Arragon, and Lady Macbeth are examples of historical characters. 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.