First published in 1832, Shakespeare’s Heroines is a unique hybrid of Shakespeare criticism, women’s rights activism, and conduct literature. Jameson’s collection of readings of female characters includes praise for unexpected role models as varied as Portia, Cleopatra, and Lady Macbeth; her interpretations of these and other characters portray intellect, passion, political ambition, and eroticism as acceptable aspects of women’s behaviour. This inventive work of literary criticism addresses the problems of women’s education and participation in public life while also providing insightful, original, and entertaining readings of Shakespeare’s women.
This Broadview Edition includes a critical introduction that places Shakespeare’s Heroines in the context of Jameson’s literary career and political life. Appendices include personal correspondence and other literary and political writings by Jameson, examples of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Shakespeare criticism, and selections from Victorian conduct books.
A Brief Chronology
Characters of Passion and Imagination
The Perroquitos p 117
Juliet in the Balcony p 124
The Tomb of the Capulet p 149
Love and Vanity p 163
Viola p 170
Ophelia and the Fates p 188
Jamesons Writing on Women Work
Contemporary Reviews of Characteristics