Présentation de l'éditeur
Hester Chapone, an early bluestocking, was born in 1727. Unlike her brothers, but like so many women of her time, she was denied an education and determinedly set about educating herself.
Becoming a member of Samuel Richardson’s coterie, she entered into correspondence with him on filial duty as portrayed in Clarissa. Richardson christened her ‘Little Spitfire’ and asked her to contribute to Sir Charles Grandison, his final novel.
When tragedy hit her marriage she was left in debt and turned to writing for money. In 1773 Letters on the Improvement of the Mind was published and became a bestseller until well into the 19th Century. Highly influential in the education of girls it was mentioned by Sheridan in The Rivals, Thackeray in Vanity Fair, and by Jane Austen as Edmund’s model for Fanny’s education in Mansfield Park. It was also the object of satire in the anonymously published Anti-Chapone in 1810.
Barbara Eaton’s fascinating study is the first full length biography to set Chapone among her contemporaries.
‘Barbara Eaton’s delightful biography has restored Chapone to her rightful place… a vivid portrait of Chapone as both a ‘spifire’ and dutiful daughter, earnest moralist and irreverent satirist.’ Dr. Elizabeth Eger of King’s College, London, from her preface to the first edition.
‘In the highly readable Yes Papa! Mrs Chapone and the Bluestocking Circle, Eaton blends personal, social and literary history, using the portrait of one Bluestocking as a window onto polite eighteenth-century intellectual structure … situates Chapone in the midst of feminist, intellectual and literary history…’. Susan Crale: Times Literary Supplement’.
‘… this book will be useful to scholars of the period and more generally for Feminist Studies. Works such as Elizabeth Eger’s excellent Bluestockings: Women of Reason from Enlightenment to Romanticism (2010), leave Chapone on the margins. Yes Papa! can provide an excellent compliment to such texts, and will make a good addition to reading lists in Eighteenth Century Studies, as well as Women’s Studies.’ Dr. Meredith Miller. FWSA Book Review.