Start Submission

Reading: The ‘Dying-Tale’ as Epistemic Strategy in Hemans’s Records of Woman

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Articles

The ‘Dying-Tale’ as Epistemic Strategy in Hemans’s Records of Woman

Author:

Angela Aliff

Independent Scholar, US
X close

Abstract

The personal writings of popular nineteenth-century poet Felicia Hemans indicate her desire to alleviate social constraints on women to improve their education, yet her poetry’s female figures often seem overly attached to domesticity or lacking in emotional fortitude. This paper addresses ways in which a study of early modern female writers of history can inform Hemans scholarship, particularly by drawing on Megan Matchinske’s work on the ‘dying-tale’ in Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam (1613). Similarly, Hemans promotes the necessity of women acting to ensure successful political and personal endurance in ‘The Switzer’s Tale’. Furthermore, in the pedagogy of Records of Woman (1828), Hemans responds to the problem of visual dominance in art by adopting a multi-sensory approach to communication that relies especially on the auditory. This strategy takes part in a broader epistemic approach to history that criticises the reliability of memory and the transience of human bodies. Ultimately, Hemans suggests that transcendence occurs through the exercise of the human will, the ultimate representation of which is martyrdom.
How to Cite: Aliff, A., 2020. The ‘Dying-Tale’ as Epistemic Strategy in Hemans’s Records of Woman. Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780–1840, (23), pp.185–199. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/romtext.79
Published on 30 Aug 2020.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)