6/ CRITICAL Write a short paragraph on your impression of some of the Romantic women we have met in the last three weeks: Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth (in text and film), Coleridge’s wife Sarah Fricker, Jane Austen. As a group, do these women seem to be a hemmed in by the dominating masculine ethos of the age.
For the past three weeks, we’ve been discovering about the many 19th Century Romantic authors who have brought to life the revolutionary power of the time up and beyond the pages. It really interested me so see that although there are a large collection of male writers there are also many female enthusiasts such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge’s wife Sarah Fricker, Jane Austen. For me, women in the 19th Century were just starting to come forward and be able to share their ideas with the world.
A feisty but creative female was Dorothy Wordsworth who was the sister of William Wordsworth. Whilst Coleridge & Wordsworth affiliated themselves with lyrical ballads, Dorothy had no future ambitions of coming out as an author but had outspoken views as Samuel Coleridge did. Dorothy’s ‘Grasmere-A Fragment’ overlooks the way she visualises her surroundings, “Fields hath it of its own, green fields, But they are rocky steep and bare”. She ironically addresses the life they live in, that there always will be setbacks that are difficult to control.
Left – Dorothy Wordsworth Right – Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer who advocated for womens’ rights. Mainly in the support of women when talking about men, especially darker skinned males. In one of her writings ‘A Vindication of the rights of woman’, she points out that “Riches and hereditary honours have made cyphers of women to give consequence to the numerical figure”. (Lynch, Deidre Shauna and Jack Stillinger).Wollstonecraft is like a protecting voice of the hard-done-by women in relation to the damaging effects of men.
In one sense these women stand by points that are taking into account by the males. It is almost as if, they have a tales to tell but they don’t let the ‘dominating masculine ethos’ get the last say. Overall they have their own views which express their opinions.
A short clip from “Pandemonium” displaying the character Dorothy Wordsworth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMu615i8tE8
Pandemonium Full-Length Fim – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9kS-NeNOcs