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Women and the Imagined Italy


  • What are your perceptions of Italy in this period.
  • What were the attractions for 'English' women writers (and others) of Italy in the early to mid nineteenth century?
  • Should the English cultural formation of ‘Italy’ be understood as a variant of orientalism or colonial discourse?
  • What do you learn from Corinne about perceptions of gender, politics and nationhood in this period?

Key Reading

Mme de Stael, Corinne, or Italy, pp. 21-49

Alison Chapman, Networking the Nation: British and American Women's Poetry and Italy, 1840-70, introduction

Matthew Reynolds, The Realms of Verse 1830-70: English Poetry in a Time of Nation Building, chapter 4

Erik Simpson, On Corinne, or Italy

Further Reading

Edoardo Marcello Barsotti, 'Race and Risorgimento: An unexplored chapter of Italian history', Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 25:3 (2020), 273-294

Glenda Sluga, 'Gender and the Nation: Madame de Stael or Italy', Women's Writing, 2 (2003)

Jane Stabler, The Artistry of Exile