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"I like solitude before a mirror…":
Corinne, Marie Bashkirsteff and the decline of the Woman of Genius.


  1. The extent to which British women poets of the nineteenth century drew inspiration and legitimation from Corinne has for some time been becoming apparent. It was Cora Kaplan's work, of course, her glittering account of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "extended debate" with de Staël's novel which first set many of us on the trail (Barrett Browning: 19-24). As I have argued elsewhere, Letitia Landon, for one, took full advantage of the image and status provided for the woman poet by Corinne. Landon marketed herself as England's improvising poet genius, appearing at literary gatherings in the guise of de Staël's heroine and carefully cultivated the image of herself as effortlessly producing endless quantities of immaculately formed poetry (although the evidence of her manuscripts suggests that Landon's composition was governed by the usual ratio of inspiration to perspiration). For Letitia Landon, the intense identification with Corinne allowed for the negotiation of the political contradictions of her aesthetic - her confusion and combustion of the distinction between the so-called "public" and "private" spheres (Francis: 107-111). Landon's aesthetic was staked upon the public performance - in her texts and in her public image - of so-called "private" femininity. In this essay, however, I want to focus not on women poets' textual or performative engagements with Corinne, but rather with some of the detail of the British reception, re-issue and translation of the novel through the nineteenth century. Responses to and repackaging of Corinne, the way in which it was assessed and edited are, I will argue, a kind of barometer of the health and then the decline of the cultural confidence in women's poetry, and of women's aesthetic legitimacy more generally during the century. Contained within the career of the "English Corinne", the mobile and misprisioned fictions constructed around and in dialogue with de Staël's heroine, is an index of how it was possible to conceive of the figure of the "Woman of Genius", of the centrality or otherwise of the role of women's intellectual and cultural production. My comments are related especially to shifts happening during the latter decades of the century. During the 1880s, in particular, the image and status of the female artist underwent some dramatic shifts under the pressure of profound changes in political and cultural accounts of femininity, due, in part, to the emergence of a more highly organized, theorized and widespread feminism, which campaigned on a variety of fronts for women's admission to and full recognition within the public sphere.
  2. The contrast between different English editions of the novel which appeared from the beginning to the end of the nineteenth century reflects these shifts. When de Staël first published her novel in 1807 it was immediately translated into two separate English versions, which launched themselves into what it quickly became clear was a vast market. One edition, published by Samuel Tipper of Leadenhall-Street, provided simply an English version of the text without any introductory material or other commentary, [1] but the other, edited by D. Lawler, included a preface which is thin on biographical and critical detail, but certainly leaves the reader in no doubt as to the editor's understanding of the significance of the arrival of de Staël's heroine in Britain.

    To have the honor [sic.] of presenting Corinna, that female wonder, which, however impressed with admiration, we should condemn as out of nature, did not the Literary Prodigy in which her history is detailed, reconcile us to a belief of her possible existence. To have the honor, I say, of presenting Corinna to a British public, in a British garb, must be no mean object of ambition (Lawler: 3).

    Lawler goes on to criticize the rival translation on the grounds of its lack of faith with de Staël's original. Thus from the moment of its first appearance on this side of the channel a significant arena of contention was the quality of the respective translations, a battle which gave itself gravity by reference to the unquestioned excellence of the original. Angela Wright's essay in this volume discusses in detail the very different images of Corinne which emerge from these two translations.

  3. Both 1807 translations were superseded by Isabel Hill's edition of 1833, which included (the only ever) metrical translations of the poems Corinne improvises at intervals throughout the text, by Letitia Landon. This edition was dominant through the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Another version, also translated by two women, Emily Baldwin and Paulina Driver, appeared in 1883. [2] However, both of these translations were abandoned in the 1894 edition edited by George Saintsbury, who reverts to Lawler's version. The erasure of Landon's poetic renditions is perhaps significant in itself. But Saintsbury's preface removes any doubt as to his opinion of the novel, and thus, implicitly of the image of the female artist - the Woman of Genius - it had underpinned. Declaring himself to be "lacking fervour as a Staëlite" (Saintsbury: viii), Saintsbury trivializes the novel, accusing it of being period-bound and incredible: "In truth it could hardly be thinner, though the author has laid under contribution an at least ample share of the improbabilities and coincidences of romance" (Saintsbury: xiv). The only good thing he can find to say about it is that it is an improvement on Delphine, de Staël's novel of 1802. He goes on to cast aspersions on de Staël's sexual virtue, dwelling on what he regards as her dubious dealings with her "mighty herd of male friends and hangers-on" (Saintsbury: xx) and even attributing to her the intent of seducing Napoleon in order to realise her political ambitions:

    Her boundless ambition, which, with her love of society, was her strongest passion, made her conceive the idea of fascinating him, and through him ruling the world (Saintsbury: xi).

    The cruellest and most belittling imputation is that Corinne is merely a fantasy projection of the personal charms, beauty and youth which her creator herself lacked:

    Corinne is a very fair embodiment of the beauty which her author would so fain have had…it is not, I think, fanciful to discover in this heroine, with all her "Empire" artifice and convention, all her smack of the theatre and the salon, a certain live quiver and throb, which…may be traced to the…chill regret for lost or passing youth and love and the chillier anticipation of coming old age and death (Saintsbury: xviii).

  4. Making no reference to the tradition of women's writing which Corinne had legitimated through the nineteenth century, Saintsbury puts the novel's survival down to de Staël's personal political connections and the tendency amongst the French social and intellectual élites to toadying:

    a high estimate of her has been kept current by the fact that her daughter was the wife of Duke Victor and the mother of Duke Albert of Broglie, and that so a proper respect for her has been a necessary passport to favour in one of the greatest political and academic houses of France (Saintsbury: ix).

  5. It would be nice if we could put this negative evaluation down simply to one rogue male literary sage. However, Saintsbury's comments replicate a general cooling of the enthusiasm and loss of respect for Madame de Staël and Corinne during the latter decades of the nineteenth century. In fact we can trace the loss of faith in de Staël back to the work of a female commentator of the 1880s. Bella Duffy published a study of de Staël in John Ingram's Eminent Women series in 1887. Duffy makes an extremely sober evaluation of de Staël which forms a sharp contrast with the eulogies of the earlier parts of the century:

    On closing one of her books, the reader is left with no continuous impression. He has been dazzled and delighted…but the horizons disclosed have vanished again, and the book is enriched by no new vistas.
         Then she was deficient in the higher qualities of imagination. She could analyse but not characterise; construct but not create. She could take one defect like selfishness, or one passion like love, and display its workings, or she could describe a whole character, like Napoleon's, with marvellous penetration, but she could not make personages talk or act like human beings. She lacked pathos, and had no sense of humour. In short, hers was a mind endowed with enormous powers of comprehension, and an amazing richness of ideas, but deficient in perception of beauty, in poetry, and true originality (Duffy: 190).

    For Duffy in the late 1880s then, de Staël's aesthetic has become inauthentic and unintelligible. She accounts for the success of Corinne and the veneration of de Staël herself in much the same terms as Saintsbury, arguing that they spoke to the ill-formed and naïve tastes of her generation:

    Corinne is a kind of glorified guide-book, with some of the qualities of a good novel. It is very long-winded, but the appetite of the age was robust in that respect, and the highly-strung emotions of the hero and heroine could not shock a taste which had been formed by the Sorrows of Werther. It is extremely moral, deeply sentimental, and of a deadly earnestness - three characteristics which could not fail to recommend it to a dreary and ponderous generation, the most deficient in taste that ever trod the earth (Duffy: 180-1).

  6. Duffy has a low opinion of de Staël's aesthetic judgement, arguing that her "ideas of art were acquired…she had no spontaneous admiration" (Duffy: 186) and that her lack of genuine taste is evident in her frequent slide away from aesthetic analysis into sentimental moralising: "instead of admiring a marble column as a column, or a picture as a picture, she finds in it food for reflection on the nature of man and the destiny of the world" (Duffy: 186).
  7. But Duffy only turns to an analysis of de Staël's writing in the final chapter of her book. Most of her study is devoted to biography where she makes a critical evaluation of de Staël's interventions into the political conflicts of her period in a way which reveals a good deal about the changed political and cultural climate of the 1880s. Duffy has two main criticisms of de Staël. The first is of her failure fully to commit herself to one side or the other of the conflict in revolutionary France:

    Her state of excited feeling kept her floating between sympathy with principles and sympathy with individuals…Had she been able to declare herself frankly either Monarchical or Republican she might have left some lasting impress upon the destinies of her land. As it was, she was kept in a condition of restless activity which, while sterile of intellectual results, brought her into disrepute as a conspirator (Duffy: 67-8).

    Whereas this kind of political irresolution, evident in incidents like de Staël's attempt to facilitate the escape of the Royal family from Paris in spite of her Republican sympathies, and the politically eclectic composition of her salons, was celebrated by earlier commentators, for Duffy it has become an embarrassment. In the first half of the century, it was seen as evidence of the superiority of feminine virtue, which could rise above political faction and display true human sympathy. By contrast, by 1887 it is precisely this femininity along with its leading her into what was now recast as indecision that resulted in what Duffy regards as the lamentable failure of de Staël's political career.

  8. Duffy's second criticism is that in addition to failing to affiliate decisively with one side or the other of the revolutionary conflict, de Staël also sought to blur the boundary between political and private arenas in order, according to Duffy, to utilize her femininity to political advantage. Duffy regards this as the reason for the turbulence in de Staël's relationship with Napoleon:

    She was in direct contradiction to her own theories of a woman's true duty, when interfering in politics; and in being treated by Napoleon as a man might have been, she paid the penalty of the splendid intellect which emancipated her from the habits and the views if not from the weaknesses, of her sex (Duffy: 83).

    Once again, it is notable that it is precisely the quality for which earlier in the century de Staël was celebrated that Duffy in the late 1880s finds culpable. Femininity is understood as a "weakness" which should be set aside when entering the political arena.

  9. Duffy's comments come close to some of the negative evaluations of what is seen as de Staël's political irresolution made by some twentieth century feminist critics. [3] Her study indicates that accounts of women's relations to the "public sphere" and to the political had shifted by this time away from the formations of the earlier Victorian period. When we consider the political climate which was created by what were by this time highly visible campaigns conducted by the first-wave feminists during the 1880s, these growing reservations around a figure like de Staël are hardly surprising. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century many of the demands of feminists concerned with the position of middle-class women (as, in practice, most of them were) focused on issues of women's access to public spaces and institutions and to the means to exercise power within them. This involved a repudiation of many of the conventions of Victorian femininity and, in particular, of the identification of women with the "private". The political model represented by Madame de Staël and Corinne - of "influence" exercised through the salon, of feminine emotion and virtue as transformational forces, of the willingness to stake subjective dignity upon the suffering created by a rejected heterosexual commitment - lost its charms. Bella Duffy was a feminist, a member of Vernon Lee's circle and acquaintance of Amy Levy, circulating within a self-identified feminist intellectual community. She represents the disengagement from Corinne during the latter decades of the nineteenth century by those seeking to theorize the legitimacy of the female artist.
  10. Under pressure of these political shifts, Corinne and de Staël were displaced as emblems of aesthetic womanhood and female genius within British culture by other figures. Significant amongst these in the late 1880s and 1890s was the (real-life) artist and diarist Marie Bashkirstseff. Her voluminous Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff was translated into English by the poet and novelist Mathilde Blind in 1890, but the original French edition, first published in 1887, had already travelled across the channel and attained instant notoriety for its portrait of Bashkirtseff's naked ambition, unapologetic demand for public recognition of her work and scathing critique of the restrictions of conventional femininity. [4] Although ostensibly non-fiction, The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff bears many similarities to the plot of Corinne, Or Italy. Like the heroine of de Staël's novel, Bashkirtseff is a cultural hybrid, born in the Ukraine, but travelling through Western Europe, developing her career in France and attempting to negotiate her commitment both to herself as an artist, and to her sexual and emotional life. The Journal, like Corinne, is a kind of travel narrative, containing Bashkirtseff's musings on many significant European locations, and lots of cultural glamour. Bashkirtseff shapes the account of her decline and death in her mid twenties which ends the Journal into a narrative of the impossibility for women of negotiating the contradiction between professional life and the social constraints of femininity. Indeed, at many points, Bashkirtseff understands her journal as a dramatic story and is conscious of herself as her "own heroine":

         I prefer solitude when there's no one for whom to live.
         My hair, knotted Psyche fashion, is redder than ever. With a woollen gown of that special shade of white which is so becoming and pretty, with a lace fichu round the throat, I have the look of a portrait of the First Empire. To make this picture complete, I ought to sit under a tree, book in hand. I like solitude before a mirror, so as to admire my delicate white hands just touched with pink on the palms.
         It is perhaps silly to praise myself so much; but authors always describe their heroine, and I am my own heroine. And it would be ridiculous to humble and abase myself owing to a false modesty. We may abase ourselves in speaking when we are sure of being lifted up; but in writing, everyone will think I am speaking the truth, and so they would think me plain and stupid - too absurd. Fortunately or unfortunately, I consider myself a treasure of whom no one is worthy; and those who dare aspire to this treasure are looked upon by me as hardly worthy of pity. I consider myself a divinity, and can't conceive how a man like G- can dream of pleasing me. I would hardly treat a king as my equal, and it is well. For I look down on men from such a height that I behave charmingly to them, for it would not do to despise those who are so far below me. I consider them as a cat might a mouse (Bashkirtseff: 31-2).

  11. Mid and late twentieth-century commentators from Simone de Beauvoir onwards, have been concerned with the way in which the Journal explores the violence that a patriarchal culture does to woman's self-image and psychic health, evident in passages such as the one I have just quoted. De Beauvoir in The Second Sex argues that Bashkirtseff suffered from a pathological form of narcissism which prevented her from forming normal relationships with other women (de Beauvoir: 437). In their introduction to the Virago reprint of Bashkirtseff's Journal of 1985, Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock, working with a more technical psychoanalytic model, explore the thesis that Bashkirtseff suffered from what they term a "narcissistic disturbance", that she was prevented by the circumstances of her life from achieving the kind of "healthy" narcissism which would allow for the development of a "positive involvement and investment in [her]self, in the evolution of realistic self-esteem and the attainment of goals and ambitions" (Bashkirtseff: xvii). Certainly, the Journal contains some extraordinary passages where Bashkirsteff's sense of self seems to be in a state of radical collapse:

    I am nothing; I have nothing in my vitals…I seem to myself like a thin and brittle cardboard box compared to a richly carved, massive oak chest. I am hopeless about myself, and am convinced that if I were to talk to the masters about it they would come to the same conclusion (Bashkirtseff: 516).

  12. I think that a large part of the cultural resonance of the Journal lay in its revision and sometimes repudiation of the account of aesthetic womanhood represented by Corinne during the earlier part of the century. Bashkirtseff makes no direct mention of de Staël's heroine, and we cannot know the extent to which she consciously or unconsciously sought to cast herself as a latter-day Corinne. The Journal and Bashkirtseff's subject-position within it are generically unstable. At times, as in the passage I quoted above, she does experiment with a slide from diary form, though autobiography, into fiction, as she writes about herself as her "own heroine", and appears to be offering herself very deliberately as an emblem of the female artist, the Woman of Genius, in the way Corinne was deployed.
  13. There is, of course, no "pure" or authentic Marie Bashkirtseff, but rather a series of misprisions, created by the translations by which she entered into Anglophone culture. Indeed, as Kabi Hartman points out, The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff "might be loosely characterized as having begun its public life already as a translation" because of the editing and bowdlerization of Bashkirtseff's manuscript by her mother (Hartman: 62). Recent critics have drawn attention to the sections of the Journal excised before publication, which demonstrate that Bashkirtseff was far more of a sexual radical than the text published in 1887 would suggest. In her 1985 study, Marie Bashkirtseff: Un Portrait Sans Retouches, Colette Cosnier reproduces passages omitted from the published Journal which indicate that Bashkirtseff was an active member of French feminist organizations and held the view that women had the right to sexual relationships with men outside of marriage. Cosnier reads some of the excised passages as exploring an account of sexual activity as legitimately distinct from emotional attachment for women. The Marie Bashkirtseff who entered late nineteenth-century British culture was further misprisioned by her translation out of French into English. Just as very different images of Corinne emerge from the competing early translations of de Staël's novel, so, as Hartman describes, different Marie Bashkirtseffs are produced by the two English language translations of the fin de siècle, by Mathilde Blind and Mary Serrano (which was distributed predominately in the USA) (Hartman: 77). The presence of de Staël's heroine, within English literary culture - by this time, as we have seen, an extensively documented declining presence - should be seen as a significant force inflecting the processes of translation and reception of the Journal.
  14. Bashkirtseff's relationship with her talent is quite different from Corinne's. Corinne is poised, graceful and unselfconscious as she exercises her multiple forms of genius and is represented as an instinctive and spontaneous and yet fully developed artist; Bashkirtseff has a neurotic and turbulent relationship with her talent, which she is perpetually struggling to bring into being. From the very beginning of the Journal, she records her frustration at anything which comes between her and the education and training she feels she needs to become a great artist. An early entry records her anger at a governess who is late for lessons:

         I have been expecting Mlle. Colignon for my lessons during the last hour and a half, and it's the same every day. And mamma blames me, and knows not that I am vexed, that my heart is hot with anger and indignation! Mlle. C- misses the lessons and makes me lose my time.
         I am thirteen years old! If I lose my time what is to become of me?
         My blood boils. I am quite pale, and the blood suddenly goes to my head; my cheeks burn, my heart beats, and I can't stay a moment in the same place. The tears weigh on my heart, and though I manage to keep them back it only makes me more miserable. All this ruins my health, spoils my temper, and makes me impatient and irritable. The people who pass their lives in peace show it in their faces, but I get irritated every instant! That is to say, in robbing me of my lessons she really robs me of my life (Bashkirtseff: 7).

    Throughout the Journal Bashkirtseff constantly reiterates her sense of time and opportunity slipping away and the restrictions which the demands of her family and social convention place upon her. Bashkirtseff's portrait of her own naked and frustrated ambition was clearly dynamite in the context of late nineteenth-century Britain, but her lack of personal modesty is perhaps even more transgressive of the conventions of femininity. The extreme narcissism in Bashkirtseff's physical and moral description of herself contrasts sharply with the eulogy to Corinne's physical and moral beauty - by both the narrator and by external spectators within the novel - which precedes the description of her improvisation at the Capitol in Rome at the start of Book II of de Staël's novel. Corinne receives a poet's tribute from her public gracefully and has no need to the kind of over-determined self-obsession Bashkirtseff displays:

         At last the four white horses drawing Corinne's chariot made their way into the midst of the crowd. Corinne was sitting on the chariot, built in the style of ancient Rome, and white-robed girls walked alongside her. Everywhere she went people lavishly threw perfumes into the air; everyone looked out of their windows to see her and the outsides of the windows were decorated with pots of flowers and scarlet hangings; everyone shouted, Long live Corinne! Long live genius! Long live beauty!...
         She was dressed like Domenichino's Sibyl. An Indian turban was wound round her head, and intertwined with her beautiful black hair. Her dress was white with a blue stole fastened beneath her breast, but her attire, though very striking, did not differ so much from accepted styles as to be deemed affected. Her demeanour on the chariot was noble and modest; it was obvious that she was pleased to be admired, but a feeling of shyness was mingled with her happiness and seemed to ask pardon for her triumph…Her arms were dazzlingly beautiful; her tall, slightly plump figure, in the style of a Greek statue, gave a keen impression of youth and happiness; her eyes had something of an inspired look…At one and the same time she gave the impression of a priestess of Apollo who approaches the sun-god's temple, and of a woman who is completely natural in the ordinary relationships of life (Raphael: 11).

    The final sentence I have quoted here is the key to the most significant aspect of what Corinne represented for her English readers and the female poets who used her image as a legitimation of their own work. She is both extraordinary and ordinary, a "priestess" and a "completely natural" woman. She is the Woman of Genius, venerated equally for both aspects of the description

  15. But Marie Bashkirtseff is no more the perfect woman than she is the exemplary female genius. There is a sense in which she never achieves womanhood at all. She died of consumption in 1884, at what the Journal advertises as the age of 24 (in fact she was probably 26 (Bashkirtseff: xxix)) but the kinds of self-representation and analysis of experience we find at the end of the Journal do not differ substantially from those at the beginning, during her teenage years. Bashkirtseff writes about the threats to her health, death being one more thing, like lazy governesses, which she feels will thwart her, just as she is on the cusp of making it big:

         This, then, will be the end of all my miseries!
         Such aspirations, such desires, such plans, such…and all to die at twenty-four years of age, on the threshold of everything.
    I had foreseen it. As God was not able to give me all that was necessary to my life without being too partial, he will make me die. All these years-these many years! so little - then nothing! (689, Bashkirtseff's ellipsis).

    Bashkirtseff's mother lied about her age, primarily to conceal the fact that she has been conceived out of wedlock. The descriptions of her age were altered throughout the Journal to sustain the fiction. The impression of extreme precociousness created, especially during the earlier section, no doubt enhanced the image of Bashkirtseff her mother wanted to convey. However, the effect of this exaggeration of youthfulness, which Bashkirtseff herself is already obsessed with, is to condemn Bashkirtseff to a perpetual artistic and intellectual as well as emotional adolescence. This is the image of Bashkirtseff which emerges from the essay on her which Mathilde Blind published, two years after the appearance of her translation. Blind is more interested in placing Bashkirtseff as an exemplary type of a certain kind of juvenile femininity than as an exemplary artist. She argues that her multiple talents were a distraction, each from the other, and made her unable to settle down and apply herself to any major project. She says of her work, "It is as a promise even more than as a performance that it claims our admiration" (Blind: 181). Thus both in the Journal and in the contemporaneous comment upon it, Bashkirtseff is always nascent, she is emblematic of underdevelopment both as a woman and as an artist.

  16. Perhaps the most important difference between Corinne and Marie Bashkirtseff lies in their relationship with the public sphere. When Corinne improvises at the Capitol, she and her talent become the focus of civic and national pride:

    But for us in Rome, her presence is like one of the bounties of our brilliant sky and of our inspiring countryside. Corinne is the bond that unites her friends; she is the motive, the force, that animates our lives; we count on her kindness; we are proud of her genius. We say to foreigners: "Look at her, she is the image of our beautiful Italy; she is what we would be but for the ignorance, the envy, the discord, and the indolence to which our fate has condemned us." We delight in gazing at her as an admirable product of our climate and our arts, as an offshoot of the past, as a harbinger of the future (Raphael: 27).

    The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, by contrast, charts the woman artist's struggle for public recognition, for admission to professional institutions and to publicity. Whereas Corinne in the Britain of the first half of the nineteenth century was deployed as a symbol of the crucial role which aesthetic femininity had as the cornerstone of public and national life, Marie Bashkirtseff in the late 1880s and 1890s was a symbol of disfunction, symptomatic of fin de siècle culture's problems with femininity and female genius. W.E. Gladstone, who was amongst the first British reviewers of the French edition of the Journal summed up the equivocal response of many on this side of the channel: "Mlle Bashkirtseff attracts and repels alternately, perhaps repels as much as she attracts" (Gladstone: 603). The popularity of The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff is symptomatic of the reconfiguration the image of the "woman of genius" underwent in the late 1880s and the disruption which this caused to the way in which her social role was understood.

Emma Francis, University of Warwick


[1] Anon (trans.). 1807. Germaine de Staël, Corinna, Or Italy, London: Samuel Tipper. As I refer to six editions of Corinne during the course of this essay, for clarity I refer to them using the name(s) of the translator(s) or, in the case of George Saintsbury's edition of 1894, of the editor. [back]
[2] Hill, Isabel and Landon, Letitia (trans.). 1833. Germaine de Staël, Corinne or Italy. London Richard Bentley and Co.;Baldwin, Emily and Driver, Paulina. 1883. Germaine de Staël, Corinne, Or Italy: A New Translation. London: Warne and Co.[back]
[3] Battersby, Christine. 1989. Gender and Genius. London: The Women's Press; Miller, Nancy K.. 1988. Subject to Change: Reading Feminist Writing. New York: Columbia University Press.[back]
[4] Blind, Mathilde. "Marie Bashkirtseff, the Russian Painter". Woman's World I (1888): 251-56 & 554-57; Stead, William. "The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff: The Story of a Girl's Life". The Review of the Reviews I (1890): 539-49; Symonds, Arthur. "Review - The Journal of Marie Bashkirseff." The Academy 5 July (1890): 5; Zimmern, Helen. "Marie Bashkirtseff: A Human Document". Blackwood's 146 (1889): 300-20.[back]

Works Cited.

Anon. (trans.). 1807. Germaine de Staël, Corinna Or Italy. London: Samuel Tipper.

Baldwin, Emily and Driver, Paulina (trans.). 1883. Germaine de Staël, Corinne, Or Italy: A New Translation. London: Warne and Co.

Barrett Browning (ed). 1978. Aurora Leigh. Ed. Cora Kaplan. London: The Women's Press.

Bashkirtseff, Marie. 1985. The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff. Trans. Mathilde Blind, ed. Rozsicka Parker and Griselda Pollock. London: Virago.

Battersby, Christine. 1989. Gender and Genius. London: The Women's Press.

Blind, Mathilde. 1892. "A Study of Marie Bashkirtseff." Jules Bastien-Lepoage and His Art: A Memoir. Ed. Andre Theuriet. London: T. Fisher Unwin.

- "Marie Bashkirtseff, the Russian Painter". Woman's World I (1888): 251-56 & 554-57.

Cosnier, Colette. 1985. Marie Bashkirtseff: Un Portrait Sans Retouches. Paris: Editions Pierre Horay.

De Beauvoir, Simone. 1953. The Second Sex. Trans. H.M. Parshley. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Francis, Emma. "Letitia Landon: Public Fantasy and the Private Sphere." Essays and Studies 51 (1998): 93-115.

Gladstone, W.E. " Journal de Marie Bashkirtseff". Nineteenth Century 126 (1889): 602-3.

Hartman, Kabi. "Ideology, Identification and the Construction of the Feminine." The Translator 5:1 (1999): 61-82.

Hill, Isabel and Landon, Letitia (trans.). 1833. Germaine de Staël, Corinne or Italy. London: Richard Bentley and Co.

Lawler, D. (trans.). 1807. Germaine de Staël, Corinna, Or Italy. London: Colburn.

Miller, Nancy K.. 1988. Subject to Change: Reading Feminist Writing. New York: Columbia University Press.

Raphael, Sylvia (trans.) 1998. Germaine de Staël, Corinne, Or Italy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Saintsbury, G. (ed.). 1894. Germaine de Staël, Corinne. London: J. M Dent and Co.

Stead, William. "The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff: The Story of a Girl's Life". The Review of the Reviews I (1890): 539-49.

Symonds, Arthur. "The Journal of Marie Bashkirseff." The Academy July 5 (1890):5.

Zimmern, Helen. "Marie Bashkirtseff: A Human Document". Blackwood's 146 (1889): 300-20.