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Abstract

In English romantic literature women take on a more important and complex part than previously in literature and also appear in more important and complex situations than had been the case before. The ordinary woman is not only portrayed with unprecedented clarity, she is also seen as a new force. The author uses as examples characters from William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Dorothy Wordsworth, William Blake, and others.

This essay is based on a talk delivered at Sacred Heart University on March 31, 1987 as part of a lecture series dedicated to the memory of Daniel Friedman Gottlieb and Max Dickstein.

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