Trans-figuring Byronic Identity

Watson, Nicola (1994). Trans-figuring Byronic Identity. In: Favret, Mary A and Watson, Nicola eds. At the Limits of Romanticism: Essays in Cultural, Feminist, and Materialist Criticism. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, pp. 185–206.



This essay retails the literary transactions between Caroline Lamb, Byron, and Harriette Wilson to show how Don Juan is constituted in part through challenging the political implications of the sentimental and gothic genres deployed by the women. It considers whether the women's games of literary impersonation suggest that it was and is impossible for women critics and writers to do more than shadow the dominant poetics, or whether such masquerades usefully destabilize myths of authentic, inner, masculine, romantic poetic identity.

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