Sophie Cottin’s Malvina and the question of women’s writing in early nineteenth-century France

Christie Margrave

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper examines Sophie Cottin's novel 'Malvina' and the discussion within it over whether or not women should be allowed to write and publish novels. At a time when the public sphere of writing and publishing was to be reserved for men, Sophie Cottin uses recurring motifs of madness, infertility, myth, and landscape to draw attention to a female desire to conform to and/or escape society’s constraints. In analysing these motifs and looking at the progression of Cottin’s works, alongside her private correspondence, this paper investigates Cottin’s complicated views on women and writing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014


  • women's writing
  • French literature
  • eighteenth century
  • nineteenth century
  • landscape

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