Speaking Volumes: Women, Reading, and Speech in the Age of Austen

A study of English women and language, both oral and written, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Utilizing a wide range of contemporary sources, the author, an associate professor of literary studies at the University of Texas, Dallas, draws new and insightful conclusions about “woman’s language” in that era. The result is a significant contribution to feminist linguistic scholarship.


First inspired by reading aloud and discovering a totally new novel, Michaelson (literary studies, U. of Texas-Dallas) looks generally at the relationship between reading and speech in the late 18th century. She challenges the tradition that links the rise of the novel firmly to print culture and to silent and solitary reading, and the tendency in both the 18th and 20th centuries to define women's language as a coherent sociolect. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) (www.barnesandnoble.com).

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