epub download The Culture of Sensibility Sex and Society in Eighteenth Century Britain author G.J. Barker–Benfield – stoptheworldcup.co.uk
When Austen wrote Sense and Sensibility in
1790s she her title carefully contrasting two opposing concepts that had battled for supremacy for at least a century One one her title carefully contrasting two opposing concepts that had battled for supremacy for at least a century One one there was ood sense On the other there was that nebulous term sensibility which appears everywhere in eighteenth century literature and which meant emotional sensitivity a capacity for artistic or instinctive feeling rather than for rational thought It was a word that novelists essayists and journalists argued over endlessly and in pointedly Search Marketing Strategies gendered termsSensibility was a uality female than male and the fact that there was a culture of sensibiility at all in the 1700s is just another way of saying that women were increasingly participating in society Most people thought this was aood thing There was a sense that women would somehow civilise male culture as traditional single sex activities were No Capital Required gradually broken down into of what GJ Barker Benfield calls heterosociality by which I suppose he means social interaction between men and women Most womenenerally approved of this civilising role although later on Mary Wollstonecraft would devote some time to explaining what utter bollocks it wasIn a new wave of novels women were overwhelmingly shown in a position of sexual vulnerability towards the world For years virtue in distress was the only plot in town Cecilias and Belindas were beset on all sides by predatory men Pamelas and Clarissas were kidnapped and raped It was feminism of a kind desig. G J Barker Benfield documents the emergence of the culture of sensibility that transformed British society of the eighteenth century His account focuses on the rise of new moral and. ,the 1790s she
G.J. Barker-Benfield ï 9 SummaryN one hand and a sensibility dangerously iven over to fantasy on the other to which to fantasy on the other to which were especially prone thanks to the nonsensical way they were socialised What Wollstonecraft wanted was to throw out the idea that women were emotional rather than rational creatures Arguably though there were uite a few babies in that bathwater She took for example a very hard line against sexuality was puritanically opposed to masturbation and revolted by the nasty custom of women talking amongst themselves about menstruation But on the main point she ot it right Full participation in society reuired that women be recognised as thinking beingsAusten Hays Edgeworth and the other writers of the 1790s and early 1800s did not o as far as Wollstonecraft As the culture lurched towards Victorianism a certain strain of sentimentality became entrenched where marriage was paramount and sexuality was regulated by delicacy almost out of existence Or at least out of expression All this is a lot for one book to try and examine and it feels big and dense and sometimes a bit academic than necessary probably like this review The evidence for B B s arguments such as they are comes mainly from the literature of the period rather than direct historical sources and so it s never entirely clear if he s making a point about how people felt and behaved or just how they expressed themselves culturally But it is a fascinating story and one that we
seem to keep replaying over and over every few enerations. E Earl of Shaftesberry to Dr George Cheyne and Mary Wollstonecraft Barker Benfield offers an innovative and compelling way to understand how Britain entered the modern ag. .just seem to keep replaying over and over every few enerations. E Earl of Shaftesberry to Dr George Cheyne and
Ned to make people aware of and angry about the dangers women Faced The Immediate Purpose The immediate purpose sentimental fiction was to persuade men to treat women with reater humanity But again the constant association of women with weakness and abuse would eventually start to raise some concerns With such congenital weakness women were it was widely understood susceptible to having too much sensibility swooning over rakes and romantic ruins The novel mostly written and read by women was held to be rather unserious if not downright corrupting Samuel Johnson wanted the whole medium to be taken over by a few men of Girls Like Us genius Menradually Affiliate Marketing Then and Now got the message that they were expected to change Farting in coffee houses and seducing housemaids became a little unmannerly people looked to idols like Rousseau for a new type of masculinity Emma Courtney tried to raise her son to Rousseauism and Wollstonecroftave William Godwin a copy of his novel in an attempt to convert him But in books by men and women there was a constant tension between the desirability of refinement in men and the wish to suare it with manliness whatever that might now mean Two hundred years later in the 1990s I remember similar confusion around the so called New ManThese swirling currents would peak in the *1790s amidst the heightened tensions of the French Revolution Wollstonecraft s Vindication of the Rights of *amidst the heightened tensions of the French Revolution Wollstonecraft s Vindication of the Rights of 1792 in some ways took a curious middle line trying to distinguish between a healthy sensibility The Invisible Presence governed by reason Spiritual values and the struggle to redefine theroup identities of men and women Drawing on the full spectrum of eighteenth century thought from Adam Smith to John Locke from th. and women Drawing on the full spectrum of eighteenth century thought from Adam Smith to John Locke from th.