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Maria, ou Le Malheur d'être femme: Translating Mary Wollstonecraft in Revolutionary France

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura Kirkley


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Translations of Wollstonecraft's works gave her a distinctive literary ‘afterlife’ on the European continent. This article takes as a case study Basile-Joseph Ducos's translation of Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman (1798). Ducos's translational choices, which subdue radical aspects of Wollstonecraft's feminism, stem from the moral climate and gender ideology of the Directoire, French sentimental literary conventions and his interpretation of ambiguities or innovations in Wollstonecraft's unfinished text. The article focuses on Wollstonecraft's adaptation of sentimental conventions to her feminist agenda, arguing that Ducos suppresses her conception of erotic experience as a catalyst for imaginative insight and personal growth.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirkley L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Year: 2015

Volume: 38

Issue: 2

Pages: 239-255

Print publication date: 01/06/2015

Online publication date: 21/07/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 1754-0194

ISSN (electronic): 1754-0208

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/1754-0208.12206


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