Dido's Daughters: Literacy, Gender, and Empire in Early Modern England and France. By Margaret W. Ferguson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. xiv + 506 pp. $65.00 (hardcover) $25.00 (paperback). To designate a book as a study in Comparative Literature, one would expect it to offer critical analyses of texts drawn from two or more linguistically different cultural discourses, historical accounts of how and why these discourses call for comparison, and theoretical insights into such issues as they might unfold in other discourses at other times. Such a book could require the space of two or three or more books to execute its task as the author copes with various critical, historical, and theoretical demands, measuring up to specialized scholarship in each instance while advancing beyond parochialism with a comparative vision. Margaret W. Ferguson's Dido's Daughters comes as close to this ideal as I could ever imagine. It weighs in with the worth of several volumes as it offers a sustained critical inquiry into the bonds that link nationalism to literacy with respect to gender differences, a broad historical inquiry into these bonds as they take shape in France and England from the late middle ages through the
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Aug 21, 2006
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