Rebellious Hearts

British Women Writers and the French Revolution

Edited by Adriana Craciun & Kari E. Lokke

Subjects: Women's Studies
Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Paperback : 9780791449707, 409 pages, May 2001
Hardcover : 9780791449691, 409 pages, June 2001

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Preface and Acknowledgments


British Women Writers and the French Revolution, 1789–1815
Adriana Craciun and Kari E. Lokke

Revolution and Nationalism

Blurring the Borders of Nation and Gender: Mary Wollstonecraft's Character (R)evolution
Jan Wellington

Challenging Englishness: Frances Burney's The Wanderer
Maria Jerinic

“The Mild Dominion of the Moon”: Charlotte Smith and the Politics of Transcendence
Kari E. Lokke

Revolution and Religion

The Anxiety of (Feminine) Influence: Hannah More and Counter-Revolution
Angela Keane

The French, the “Long-wished-for Revolution,” and the Just War in Joanna Southcott
Kevin Binfield

Napoleon, Nationalism, and the Politics of Religion in Mariana Starke's Letters from Italy
Jeanne Moskal

Revolutionary Subjects

The New Cordays: Helen Craik and British Representations of Charlotte Corday, 1793–1800
Adriana Craciun

Mary Hays's “Female Philosopher”: Constructing Revolutionary Subjects
Miriam L. Wallace

Indirect Dissent: “Landscaping” Moral Agency in Amelia Alderson Opie's Poems of the 1790s
Ann Frank Wake

Revolutionary Representation

Elizabeth Inchbald, Joanna Baillie, and Revolutionary Representation in the “Romantic” Period
Terence Allan Hoagwood

Benevolent Historian: Helen Maria Williams and Her British Readers
Deborah Kennedy

The Politics of Truth and Deception: Charlotte Smith and the French Revolution
Judith Davis Miller

Madelyn Gutwirth



Examines the full spectrum of women's participation in the social, economic, religious, and poetic debates surrounding the French Revolution.


This pathbreaking collection engages in the important new work of rediscovering the hundreds of British women writing during the Romantic period, women who we now realize were central, not marginal, to the poetics and ideologies of Romanticism. Yet no previous volume has focused on British women's responses to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, or on their participation in the social, economic, religious, and poetic debates surrounding these political conflicts. As the first book to represent the full spectrum of women's participation in the Revolutionary debates, Rebellious Hearts uncovers a rich new field of literary and historical scholarship.

Adriana Craciun is Prew-Smith Byron Lecturer in English, University of Nottingham. She is the editor of Zofloya by Charlotte Dacre. Kari E. Lokke is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Gérard de Nerval: The Poet as Social Visionary.


"Rebellious Hearts is a lively, engaging, and cross-disciplinary survey of British women's writings on the French Revolution. Its essays are conspicuously open-minded and historically informed, and commendably tackle little-known figures, as well as the likes of Hannah More and Frances Burney. " — Linda Colley, author of Britons: Forging the Nation 1707–1837

"The authors of these essays have done a fine job of working with important primary sources and the most recent secondary ones. Moreover, they have done so in a remarkably savvy way, cognizant at every step of the real, actual nature of daily life in Romantic England and of the manner in which women writers used their publications in a variety of ways to engage, comment upon, shape, and otherwise manipulate public opinion. " — Stephen C. Behrendt, author of Royal Mourning and Regency Culture: Elegies and Memorials of Princess Charlotte

"Rebellious Hearts derives much of its impact from its presentation of a substantial number of women writers whose published works reflect both common concerns and authorial strategies (such as a strong epistolary trend in diverse genres) and a striking range of political opinion. I was persuaded that in ignoring this rich network of conversations, we have had a seriously diminished understanding of England's debates on the French Revolution. " — Sarah M. Zimmerman, author of Romanticism, Lyricism, and History