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Mary-Ann Constantine

Mary-Ann Constantine is Reader at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. She works on Welsh and British literature of the long eighteenth century and has also written on travel writing, folk song, authenticity debates and the Romantic movement in Brittany. Her book on the Welsh stonemason poet Edward Williams, The Truth against the World: Iolo Morganwg and Romantic Forgery, appeared in 2007. With Dafydd Johnston, she is general editor of the multivolume Wales and the French Revolution series. She is currently leading an AHRC-funded research project, Curious Travellers: Thomas Pennant and the Welsh and Scottish Tour 1760–1820.

Article: ‘The bounds of female reach’

The Birmingham-based novelist Catherine Hutton (1756–1846) was acknowledged in the Monthly Magazine for 1821 as one of ‘twenty-four ladies of pre-eminent talents as writers in various departments of literature and philosophy’. Her work is little read or discussed these days, but offers some fascinating possibilities for research into women’s writing and narratives of travel. This chapter explores how Hutton’s frequent visits to Wales from the 1780s, recorded in travel journals, provided both material and form for her later novels. Welsh landscapes and Welsh culture are often figured in her fiction as spaces of possibility and freedom for women, and are used, in terms that owe much to the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, to critique the constraints of contemporary urban society. Continue reading

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