Home Books

Engendering the Republic of Letters: Reconnecting Public and Private Spheres in 18th Century Europe

In Engendering the Republic of Letters, Susan Dalton analyses the lives of four of the most famous salon women in France and the Venetian republic in the late eighteenth-century. Julie de Lespinasse, Marie-Jeanne Roland, Giustina Renier Michiel, and Elisabetta Mosconi Contarini all lived through the events that transformed Western culture, including the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars.rnrnBeing women provided them with a particular perspective, expressed first-hand through their letters. Dalton shows how Lespinasse, Roland, Renier Michiel, and Mosconi grappled with differences of ideology, social status, and community, often through networks that mixed personal and professional relations, thus calling into question the actual separation between public and private spheres. Building on the work of Dena Goodman and Daniel Gordon, Dalton shows how a variety of conflicts were expressed in everyday life and sheds new light on Venice as an important eighteenth-century cultural centre.

About the book