Publication details

Entering the Public Sphere

Authors

HOCHMANOVÁ Dita

Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Language Centre

Citation
Description Three women, Aphra Behn, Mary Astell and Eliza Haywood, became some of the first and most important pioneers in gaining space on the literary scene among their fellow male writers. Despite the fact that texts created by women got occasionally recognized by public even before, it was not until Aphra Behn´s career that women in England were known to make living by pen. Soon after her successful predecessor, Mary Astell contributed to the contemporary vivid gender discussion with her openly critical essay “Serious Proposal to the Ladies”, and her name has since been associated with the beginnings of British feminism. Finally, two decades later, since her income was based mainly on her published work, Eliza Haywood came to represent an epitome of a well-established professional on the market and she even got among the top five bestselling writers of her era. While paying tribute to these exceptional women, the paper explores the conditions under which they got the rare opportunity to break the boundaries of prescribed female social roles and enter the foreign domain of public self-expression, which was predominantly a male one. Although they might seem solitary in their endeavours, as the analysis shows, these writers were well-connected with other famous personalities, and such friendships proved to be essential in finding their way to be publicly acknowledged.
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