Adeline Mowbray And The Anti-Jacobin Movement

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The end of the eighteenth - beginning of the nineteenth century England was characterized by the downfall of the revolutionary “Jacobin” movement which advocated for freedom and equality, and symbolizes a return to, as well as an empowerment of the conservative British patriarchal system. This was the context in which Amelia Anderson Opie wrote “her most political novel”(King and Pierce, viii) Adeline Mowbray, a tale which provides a case study about, as Roxane Eberle notes, “progressive ideas that heterosexual relationships can and should exist outside of marriage”(1994: 127). As a result the clash between these innovational type of relationships and the English legal and social norms collide in their representation of models of proper conduct for women. Although Opie’s fiction is roughly known or read nowadays, her writing technique made her be considered one of the representative women authors of that period. Her texts are famous for addressing social and political issues, but nonetheless she does an extremely good job at blurring the boundaries with regards to her own position on the matter she approaches. Because of the obvious radical change of philosophy that the author undergoes after her marriage with John Opie, many critics are doubtful as to assign her in favor of or against the “Anti-Jacobin” movement. This lead to an abundance of interpretative works made by scholars and critics when analyzing Adeline Mowbray, and basically divided the majority in
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