Read e-book online British Women’s Life Writing, 1760–1840: Friendship, PDF

By A. Culley

ISBN-10: 1137274220

ISBN-13: 9781137274229

ISBN-10: 1349445576

ISBN-13: 9781349445578

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 leading 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 info for British Women’s Life Writing, 1760–1840: Friendship, Community, and Collaboration

Example text

The bands were small, single-sex groups of four or five individuals and were designed to foster spiritual progress through introspection and testimony among those whose faith was already advancing. 42 In contrast, the classes were larger groups consisting of men and women, young and old, in various states of spiritual development. 43 These social groupings based on a voluntary faith fostered cross-class allegiances, exemplified by the friendship between Mary Fletcher, daughter of a wealthy tradesman, and Sarah Ryan, a former domestic servant.

She records the lives of those she knew intimately in order to preserve their legacy and establish them as exemplary figures for emulation in the present. Fletcher provided John Wesley with an account of her husband’s death that informed his biographical work, A Short Account of the Life and Death of the Rev. 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).

100 This intimacy caused friction in Wesley’s marriage and on one occasion Wesley’s wife allegedly shouted at a Methodist conference dinner ‘“see that Whore, who is serving you! 102 When Fletcher and Ryan met in 1762, Ryan had recently resigned her post as housekeeper at Wesley’s New Room in Bristol due to ill health. Despite class differences and Ryan’s problematic reputation, their sense of a shared spiritual mission found expression in establishing an orphanage and Methodist community at Leytonstone, enabled by a legacy from Fletcher’s grandmother.

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British Women’s Life Writing, 1760–1840: Friendship, Community, and Collaboration by A. Culley


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