Women Telling Nations

Women Telling Nations highlights how, from the 16th to the 19th centuries, European women, as readers and writers, contributed to the construction of national identities. The book, which presents twenty countries, is divided into four parts. First, we examine how women belonged to nations: they represented territories and political or religious communities in their own style. Second, we deal with the ways in which women wrote the nation: the network of relationships in which they were involved that were not necessarily national or territorial. The legitimation that women writers succeeded in finding is emphasised in the third section, while in the fourth we analyse how and why women were open to the outside world, beyond the country's borders. Women Telling Nations underlines the quantitative importance of the circulation of these women's writings and demonstrates the extent as well as the impact of the international cross-fertilisation of nations, especially by and for women: focusing on routes rather than roots.