By: Tina Gianquitto
224 pages, b&w illus
Examines nineteenth-century American women's intellectual and aesthetic experience of nature and investigates the linguistic, perceptual, and scientific systems that were available to women to describe those experiences.
Many women writers of this period used the natural world as a platform for discussing issues of domesticity, education, and the nation. To what extent, asks Gianquitto, did these writers challenge the prevalent sentimental narrative modes (like those used in the popular flower language books) and use scientific terminology to describe the world around them? The book maps the intersections of the main historical and narrative trajectories that inform the answer to this question: the changing literary representations of the natural world in texts produced by women from the 1820s to the 1880s and the developments in science from the Enlightenment to the advent of evolutionary biology.
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