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Genius in FranceAn Idea and Its Uses$
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Ann Jefferson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160658

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

A Novel of Female Genius

A Novel of Female Genius

Mme de Staël’s Corinne

Chapter:
(p.125) Chapter 10 A Novel of Female Genius
Source:
Genius in France
Author(s):

Ann Jefferson

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691160658.003.0011

This chapter considers the links between women and genius in the figure of Mme De Staël's Corinne (from her 1807 of the same name). At the time of its publication women there seemed to be no place for women in genius or for genius in women. At the same time, however, the novel, which was traditionally associated with a female readership, was gaining status as a literary genre. Mme de Staël, as one of the rare women commentators on genius, curiously made no explicit attempt to counter the arguments of those who denied genius to her sex and even echoed many of their assumptions. Yet she would eventually come to portray the heroine of her second novel, Corinne, as an unambiguous incarnation of female genius.

Keywords:   Mme De Staël, Corinne, female genius, novels, gloire, genius-heroine

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