Kate Davies (Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York), Pantomime, Connoisseurship, Consumption: Emma Hamilton and the Politics of Embodiment
This essay uses Emma Hamiltons attitudes as a way of opening up and illuminating the critique De Staels Corinne offers of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century gender stereotypes. I look at the attitudes through three contextual frames and debates: masculine connoisseurship; the picturesque; and fashionable femininity. While Hamiltons attitudes have often been regarded as a sort of cultural quizan identification parade of recognisable classical heroinesthis essay suggests that they are better considered in terms of their lack of narrative and their confusion of identity. In the particular ways in which they make no sense, Hamiltons attitudes are, I argue, distinctively related to the modernity of the culture that produced them.