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Ladies' GreekVictorian Translations of Tragedy$
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Yopie Prins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141893

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141893.001.0001

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Women and the Greek Alphabet

(p.1) Introduction
Ladies' Greek

Yopie Prins

Princeton University Press

This book examines why Victorian women of letters such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sara Coleridge, and Virginia Woolf self-consciously performed collective identification with Greek letters and showed literary interest in their translations of with Greek tragedy. It considers how these women engaged with ideas about classical antiquity, and how much they contributed to the idealization of all things Greek. It discusses the ways in which women learned to read the Greek alphabet, to discover all the letters between alpha and omega, and how they turned ancient Greek into a language of and for desire. The book argues that nineteenth-century women writers turned to tragedy in particular as a literary genre for the performance of female classical literacy, and that their passionate reading of Greek led them into various forms of translation. Five tragedies are analyzed to elucidate the legacy of Ladies' Greek: Agamemnon and Prometheus Bound, Electra, Hippolytus, and Bacchae.

Keywords:   tragedy, Victorian women, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sara Coleridge, Virginia Woolf, Greek letters, translation, Greek, female classical literacy, Ladies' Greek

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