University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Wolfson College Humanities Society talks > 'Male memory, female subject: writing Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft '

'Male memory, female subject: writing Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft '

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I juxtapose two influential biographies: William Godwin’s memoir of his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft (1798) and James Edward Austen Leigh’s sketch of his aunt Jane Austen (1869). I consider what these male authors chose to stress and omit and how they interacted with the gendered aspects of their subjects. Both intended to manipulate the reputations of their famous relatives; both saw themselves as executors of the image.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society talks series.

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