In the early years of the early nineteenth century, a group of French women used their fiction to defend slaves. This book explores how these women writers depicted themselves, their biological and symbolic fathers, and blacks in their literature. These writers, from Germaine de Staël and Claire de Duras to Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Charlotte Dard, and Sophie Elisabeth Doin, lived through the turbulent aftermath of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic empire, a period marked by a search for legitimate and progressive figures of paternal authority. The book highlights the critical role played by French women in relation to antislavery after the French Revolution. Some of these women witnessed the extraordinary circumstances of the French or colonial revolutions, resulting in French literature that vividly describes how those events affected the lives of women and blacks. The book also considers how ‘daughters’ in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries stood up to the oppression endured by blacks and women at the hands of ‘fathers’.
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