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Unbounded AttachmentSentiment and Politics in the Age of the French Revolution$
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Harriet Guest

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686810.001.0001

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Amelia Alderson and Mrs Opie: ‘more of the woman’

Amelia Alderson and Mrs Opie: ‘more of the woman’

(p.123) 4 Amelia Alderson and Mrs Opie: ‘more of the woman
Unbounded Attachment

Harriet Guest

Oxford University Press

Chapter four discusses the opportunities which Amelia Alderson Opie grasped with so much enthusiasm on her visits to London in the 1790s - the chance to meet leading radicals and reformers, and to attend political occasions such as trials and hustings - and considers the combination of social, political and personal factors that made these activities available to her, including the relation between her life in London and at home in Norwich. Before her marriage, Alderson participated in public and political events more fully than seems to have been possible for most young single women of comparable status, attending the hustings for the Westminster Election of 1796. But in later life, though she continued to support progressive causes, her sense of the possibilities for women became much more restricted. The chapter discusses her changing relation to her readership and to her own celebrity after her marriage and the death of her husband, and compares her interest in her own commercial success to that of her friend Elizabeth Inchbald.

Keywords:   Amelia Alderson Opie, Adeline Mowbray, Elizabeth Inchbald, William Godwin, Westminster Election, crowd, mob, portrait, metropolis, author, readership, intimacy, family

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