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Mary Robinson and the Gothic
Anne Close

Mary Robinson‘s decision to publish in a notorious genre, the Gothic, drew further attention to her own sexual and moral notoriety. In Hubert de Sevrac, a Romance of the Eighteenth Century (1796) and Memoirs of the Late Mrs. Robinson (1801), she manipulates the publiccs taste for the type of Gothic fiction popularised by Ann Radcliffe and offers the sexually experienced heroine as a counter-ideal to Radcliffe‘s sexually naive characters. These works strategically revise conventional Gothic discourse in order to reassign the cultural significance of active female sexuality to fictional women, and, ultimately, to Robinson herself.

Gothic Studies
Reading the gaps in Mary Robinson’s Memoirs (1801)
Susan Civale

Chapter 3 ‘Beyond the power of utterance’: Reading the gaps in Mary Robinson’s Memoirs (1801) I n 1 7 8 0 , the s t u n n ing actress and poet Mary Darby Robinson (1758–1800) sparked a media frenzy known as the ‘Perdita’ affair when she began a high-profile amour with the teenaged Prince of Wales, later King George IV. Robinson spent her adult life transforming her public position from sex object to writing subject. Her Memoirs of the Late Mrs. Robinson, Written by Herself (1801), edited by her daughter Maria Elizabeth and published the year after her death

in Romantic women’s life writing
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Susan Civale

her, such as that of Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Using this material, the chapter highlights unrecognised strands of Wollstonecraft’s legacy and argues for Godwin’s biography as an innovative contribution to Romantic life writing and a pivotal component in Wollstonecraft’s affective and intellectual appeal in the nineteenth century. The third case study looks at the actress, poet and royal mistress Mary Darby Robinson (1758–1800), who spent the bulk of her adult life transforming her public position from sex object to writing subject. Her Memoirs of the Late Mrs

in Romantic women’s life writing