Botany, Sexuality and Women's Writing, 1760-1830: From Modest Shoot to Forward Plant

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Manchester University Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 261 pages
In this fascinating study, Samantha George explores the cultivation of the female mind and the feminized discourse of botanical literature in 18th century Britain. In particular, she discusses British women's engagement with the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, and his unsettling discovery of plant sexuality. Previously ignored primary texts of an extraordinary nature are rescued from obscurity and assigned a proper place in the histories of science, 18th century literature, and women's writing. The result is groundbreaking. The author explores nationality and sexuality debates in relation to botany and charts the appearance of a new literary stereotype--the sexually precocious female botanist. She uncovers an anonymous poem on Linnaean botany and subsequently traces the development of a new genre of women's writing--the botanical poem with scientific notes.

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About the author (2007)

Dr Samantha George teaches eighteenth-century and Romantic period literature in the Department of English Literature at the University of Sheffield

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