This article sheds light on popular authors of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century France: Mme Cottin, Mme de Souza and Mme de Staël. Examining their work through an ecocritical lens reveals how their environmental awareness predates the ecological Zeitgeist of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They marry ecosensitivity with critique of contemporary discourses of women’s position in society, investigating whether a species that adapts itself to an environment (physical and socio-political) triumphs over a species that adapts its environment to its needs. This paves the way for critique both of binary gender roles, and of mankind’s imperious attitude towards nature. Ultimately, they direct the reader away from notions of land ‘stewardship’ and towards arguments that maintaining a separation between mankind and nature destroys both.
|Title of host publication||The Palgrave Handbook of Transnational Women's Writing in the Long Nineteenth Century|
|Editors||Claire Emilie Martin, Clorinda Donato|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 22 Jun 2022|
- eco criticism
- French literature
- women's writing
- nineteenth century