Helen Maria Williams and the Age of Revolution

Deborah Kennedy

276 pages
ISBN 1611481617
LC 2001052900
Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture

Helen Maria Williams (1761-1827) had a long and prolific career as a writer: she was a celebrated British poet, an influential translator of works of French literature and history, and an important British chronicler of the French Revolution in a series of books entitled Letters from France, published in eight volumes from 1790-1796. Eventually settling in Paris with her mother and two sisters, Williams hosted a Parisian salon that was frequented by many of Europe's most important politicians, artists, writers, and thinkers, including J.P. Brissot, Madame Roland, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Alexander von Humboldt.

Deborah Kennedy's Helen Maria Williams and the Age of Revolution is the first critical study to be published on this fascinating woman of letters: it is a comprehensively researched and lucidly written account of Williams' life and writing in the context of the major events taking place in England and France throughout her life. Complicating and extending biography, Kennedy's richly textured and contextual discussion of the "literary celebrity of the French Revolution" combines social history, literary history, criticism, political and social history, and intellectual history, in a discussion that will appeal to general readers even while it makes an important contribution tot he field of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies of women writers.

About the author:

Deborah Kennedy is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Saint Mary's University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She specializes in British literature of the eighteenth century and the romantic period. Her publications include articles on William Wordsworth, Frances Burney, Charlotte Smith, Felicia Hemans, and Helen Maria Williams.


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