Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the image of women looking at themselves and being observed by others in a significant body of satirical writing by women writers in the 1730s, 1740s, and 1750s. Though Jonathan Swift famously observed that satire ‘is a sort of Glass, wherein Beholders do generally discover every body’s Face but their Own’, these women did the opposite, often unflinchingly so, producing humane reflections on their personal appearances, and on their selves. Self-knowledge through conversation, either with oneself or with others, is a motif of eighteenth-century moral philosophy, and this kind of introspection is replicated throughout satirical verse, particularly that by women. Conversation takes place through the medium of the interlocutor in verse epistles; as answers to previous poems; through voicing the characters of different people; as the voice of the poet within the poem; and as translation and imitation.

Keywords: conversation, soliloquy, women’s writing, Mary Wortley Montagu, Elizabeth Thomas, Mary, Lady Chudleigh, Mary Barber, Elizabeth Teft, Mary Leapor, Mary Jones

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.