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Fathers, Daughters, and SlavesWomen Writers and French Colonial Slavery$
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Doris Y. Kadish

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318467

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317828

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Patriarchy and Abolition: Germaine de Staël

Patriarchy and Abolition: Germaine de Staël

(p.31) 1 Patriarchy and Abolition: Germaine de Staël
Fathers, Daughters, and Slaves
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines Germaine de Staël's complex representation of fathers in relation to slavery and abolition, focusing on her own father, Jacques Necker, who features in many of her works. In particular, it looks at the conflict experienced by Staël between paternal figures of authority on the one hand and the rights of women and slaves on the other. Staël claims to have loved, throughout her life, God, her father, and freedom, a claim analysed in the chapter, which offers a reading of her early short stories, including Mirza, Histoire de Pauline, and Corinne. It discusses symbolic allusions to slavery in Corinne and considers biographical and historical works in which Staël constructs her father as the personification of benevolence and concern for the welfare of others. Finally, the chapter compares Staël to Isaac Louverture, the son of the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture, in terms of their relationship with their fathers.

Keywords:   Germaine de Staël, fathers, slavery, abolition, Jacques Necker, Isaac Louverture, Toussaint Louverture, slaves, women, Corinne

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