By A. Culley
British Women's existence Writing, 1760-1840 brings jointly for the 1st time quite a lot of print and manuscript assets to illustrate women's cutting edge method of self-representation. It examines canonical writers, comparable to Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Robinson, and Helen Maria Williams, among others.
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Additional resources for British Women’s Life Writing, 1760–1840: Friendship, Community, and Collaboration
Like the Anglican sisterhoods, the women’s interpretation of their spiritual mission in wider social terms meant that the boundaries of their community remained permeable and in the class and band meetings they opened their doors to their neighbours. The disruptive potential of the outside world is starkly represented in Fletcher’s description of a local visitor: We could not tell what to make of him his appearance was so very odd. Nevertheless as he bore an honest character we accepted him. Mary Fletcher 43 But in a few days he appeared as one possessed of the Devil […] he run about the town night and day biding the people believe preaching Christ in the most rambling manner insisting he would live with us; that I should give him the Sacrament, & turning his body into all manner of forms, such as I think he could not naturally do.
66 Their stories were never systematically solicited like the male preachers of Methodism and women’s preaching is only mentioned once under Wesley’s editorship. 67 The published autobiographies of middle-class women such as Hester Ann Rogers and Mary Fletcher reached a wide audience. 70 Women Methodists preserved and transcribed one another’s letters, read them aloud, and reproduced them in their autobiographies. Liz Stanley’s theorisation of epistolary exchange as an expression of social and relational bonds seems particularly appropriate here.
John Fletcher (1786). In her comments on her role as author, Fletcher imagines herself as a passive vessel who casts herself ‘on the Lord to be guided by his hand as a mear machine’ (IV, 5). In her grief she suggests that she has no ‘sence or Memory’ and instead presents her writing as an act of ventriloquism and an extension of her husband’s words, hoping that she has ‘helped in a little measure that shout of praise to go forth, which with his dyeing lips he said “he wanted to reach to the Ends of the Earth”’ (IV, 11).
British Women’s Life Writing, 1760–1840: Friendship, Community, and Collaboration by A. Culley