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This collection of innovative essays by leading scholars on eighteenth-century British women satirists showcases women's contributions to the satiric tradition and challenges the assumption that women were largely targets, rather than practitioners, of satire during the long eighteenth century. The essays examine women's satires across diverse genres, from the fable to the periodical, and attend to women writers' appropriation of a literary style and form often viewed as exclusively masculine. The introduction features a new theory of women's satire and proposes a framework for analyzing satiric techniques employed by women writers. Organized chronologically, the contributors' essays address a wide range of authors and explore the ways in which satiric writings by women engaged in contemporary cultural conversations, influencing assumptions about gender, sociability, politics, and literary practices. This inclusive yet tightly-focused collection formulates an innovative and provocative new feminist theory of satire.


‘… charts a navigable map of an emerging field and lays groundwork for future investigations. … This book, thanks to the intellectual rigor of its essays and the generosity of its scholarly apparatus, merits a long and healthy shelf life.’

Katherine G. Charles Source: Eighteenth-Century Fiction

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