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By Elizabeth Eger

The dialog events of the bluestockings, held to discuss modern principles in eighteenth-century Britain, have been important in encouraging girl creative fulfillment and selling hyperlinks among studying and advantage within the public mind's eye, inventing a brand new form of casual sociability that mixed the lifetime of the senses with that of the brain. This choice of essays, through prime students within the fields of literature, historical past and paintings background, presents an interdisciplinary therapy of bluestocking tradition in eighteenth-century Britain. it's the first educational quantity to pay attention to the wealthy visible and fabric tradition that surrounded and supported the bluestocking venture, from formal pics and sculptures to commercially reproduced prints. by means of the early 20th century, the time period 'bluestocking' got here to suggest a lifeless and dowdy highbrow girl, however the unique bluestockings inhabited a global during which brilliance used to be worth each point and girls have been inspired to polish or even dazzle.

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Extra info for Bluestockings Displayed: Portraiture, Performance and Patronage, 1730-1830

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The trans-sexual identification is physical as well as ideological. 12 In the case of the Haywood portrait, the switching of engraver’s name from Vertue to Kirkall may indicate a degree of discomfort with identification. It is an act of exorcism. Haywood’s too-similar image, her callingcard by the same artist, is appropriated and poisoned. There is another curious switch as well: the oddly grotesque term ‘fore-buttocks’ for breasts, both draws attention to her sex and unsexes her, bringing literally to the fore a non-gendered part of the anatomy.

This is surely not down to artistic ineptitude alone – Highmore did a creditable job of representing an elegant female in his series of paintings illustrating the novel Pamela – although it may be a factor. Another might be the sheer discomfort of Carter herself at being presented as an object of admiration in this way. ’3 The vanity of women coming forward to public view and attempting to shine in their own right is the central theme of Alexander Pope’s celebrated Epistle to a Lady: Of the Characters of Women, which appeared in 1735, around three years before Highmore’s portrait of Carter.

192–5. Edmund Burke, Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (London, 1757; repr. Oxford University Press, 1990). See, for example, the frontispiece portrait of Maria Edgeworth, engraved by R. McKenzie in 1801 after a portrait by William Marshall Craig (available to view on the British Museum’s collections website). 37 38 Portraits 25 William Pitt Scargill, Blue-Stocking Hall (London: Henry Colburn, 1827), Preface, p. iv. 26 See Leigh Hunt, Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt, ed.

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