[Review] The Fiction of Enlightenment. Women of Reason in the French Eighteenth Century Page: 134
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Women in French Studies
mask-the performance of gender-used in order to claim reason for women in
her two plays La Reunion dui bon sens et de V'esprit (unpublished) and Phaza,
both of which have rarely formed the object of modern scholarship. Bostic
analyzes the motif of the cup, symbolizing reason as a remedy, in Riccoboni's
essay L'Abeille and novels Histoire du, marquis de Cressy' and Lettres de Myilord
Rivers, of which the latter two in particular may be more familiar to readers and
scholars. Lastly, for Charribre she examines the relationship between female
literacy and reason through the motif of the book as it appears in her literary
self-portrait Portrait de Zilide, her comedy Elise on universityt # and her essay
"Des Auteurs et des livres," all relatively unknown. As apparent from this list,
Bostic selected her texts from a broad range of genres practiced by eighteenth-
century women writers, which lends additional weight to her argument and her
plea to consider these authors an integral part of Enlightenment.
Five black-and-white images aptly illustrate the text; a listing of these
illustrations would have been a convenient reference tool. An extensive fifteen-
page bibliography and an elaborate index conclude the publication.
Offering fresh perspectives on relatively unknown texts and delineating new
avenues for future intellectual inquiry, this richly annotated, cogently argued
book engages with other scholarship not just on eighteenth-century French
literature but also on history, cultural studies, gender studies, feminist theory and
philosophy. It will be of great interest to readers in all these disciplines.
Marijn S. Kaplan
University of North Texas
Cone, Annabelle and Dawn Marley, ed. The Francophone Women's
Magazine. Inside and Outside of France. New Orleans, LA: University Press
of the South, 2010. Pp. v-xv; 179. ISBN 1-931948-79-8. $49.95, Paper.
Inspired by the 2006 Conference at the University of Surrey, U.K.,
Francophone Women's Magazine. Inside and Outside of France is an original
and valuable book collection that develops a subject quite new to literary
studies. The editors let us know that while very little research has been done on
women's magazines from a non-sociological point of view, even rarer are
studies on French feminine press published in countries other than France. This
is perhaps the reason why the fourteen contributors consider their essays as
introductory texts. Several geographical areas are embraced in the book:
Quebec, Switzerland, France, Algeria, Morocco and Cameroun. Divided in three
parts, the first section is devoted to the historical development of feminine
magazines in France, Canada and Switzerland. This instructive overview
highlights the cultural, social and political contexts within which the first
feminine journals developed as well as the compulsory marketing aspects behind
journals. At different degrees, the five articles recognize how magazines offered
visibility for women and the creation of a virtual forum, where controversial
topics were discussed. The second section is highly informative and focuses on
women representations in feminine press produced in Algeria, Morocco and
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Kaplan, Marijn S. [Review] The Fiction of Enlightenment. Women of Reason in the French Eighteenth Century, review, 2011; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228303/m1/3/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.