Jeanne Moskal, "The Death of the Author and the Birth of the Reader in Wollstonecraft's Life-Writing"
1 Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author" (1968), reprinted in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, general editor Vincent B. Leitch (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001), 1470.
2 The standard edition of Wollstonecraft's works is The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, edited by Marilyn Butler and Janet Todd, 7 vols. (London: Pickering and Chatto, 1989). Wollstonecraft's Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman is here cited from the more widely available edition by Moira Ferguson (New York: W. W. Norton, 1975). Important critical works on this novel include Laurie Langbauer, "An Early Romance: Motherhood and Women's Writing in Mary Wollstonecraft's Novels," in Romanticism and Feminism, edited by Anne K. Mellor (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), 208-219; Gary Kelly, English Fiction of the Romantic Period, 1789-1830 (New York: Longman, 1989), 38-42;
Gary Kelly, Revolutionary Feminism: The Mind and Career of Mary Wollstonecraft (New York: St. Martin's, 1996), 196-228; Glynis Ridley, "Injustice in the Works of Godwin and Wollstonecraft," in Women, Revolution, and the Novels of the 1790s, edited by Linda Lang-Peralta (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1999), 69-88; and S. Leigh Matthews, "(Un)Confinements: The Madness of Motherhood in Mary Wollstonecraft's The Wrongs of Woman," in Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley: Writing Lives, edited by Helen M. Buss, D. L. Macdonald, and Anne McWhir (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2001), 85-98.
3 See Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, trans. Ben Brewster (London: New Left Books, 1971); and Catherine Belsey, "Constructing the Subject, Deconstructing the Text" (1985), reprinted in Feminisms: An Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism, ed. Robin R. Warhol and Diane Price Herndl (rev. ed.; New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 657-673. The quotation is from Belsey.
4 William Godwin, Memoirs of the Author of 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,' edited by Richard Holmes with Wollstonecraft's A Short Residence in Sweden (New York: Penguin Books, 1987), 249; Robert Southey, letter to Joseph Cottle, quoted in Holmes's introduction, 17.
5 See especially Wolfgang Iser, The Implied Reader: Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974) and The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978); and Hans Robert Jauss, "Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory" (1970), reprinted in Leitch, ed. (cited above, n. 1), 1550-1564. The editors' headnote to Jauss is helpfully lucid.
6 See Jean Le Drew Metcalfe, The Mother's Legacy to her Vnborn Childe by Elizabeth Joscelin (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000);
Sylvia Brown, editor, Women's Writing in Stuart England: The Mothers' Legacies of Dorothy Leigh, Elizabeth Joscelin, and Elizabeth Richardson (Guilford, Surrey: Sutton Press, 1999); and Sophia Blaydes, "Anne Murray Halkett," in An Encyclopedia of British Women Writers, edited by Paul Schlueter and June Schlueter (New York: Garland Press, 1988), s.v. "Halkett." The quotation from Brown appears on v.
7 Elizabeth Joscelin, manuscript version of The Mothers Legacie, to her Vnborne Childe in Brown, ed., 106.
8 Wollstonecraft, The Wrongs of Woman, in Ferguson, ed. (cited above, n. 2), 23.
9 Ibid., 74.
10 Ibid., 31.
11 For mentions of gift-giving, see the prefaces by Robert Lee and Sarah Josepha Hale, reprinted in Metcalfe, 119 and 128. For the signature evidence, see Metcalfe, 12. For discussion of the nineteenth-century editions of Joscelin, including sectarian controversies motivating them, see Sylvia Brown, "The Approbation of Elizabeth Joscelin," English Manuscript Studies 10 (2000), forthcoming. I am grateful to Professor Brown for sharing her work with me in typescript.
12 The author thanks Doucet Devin Fischer, Megan Matchinske, and Gina Luria Walker for their suggestions and comments on this essay.
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