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Women And Literary Sociability In Eighteenth-Century Lisbon

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Chapter Summary

The change of attitude towards socialising between men and women, which occasioned, not surprisingly, criticism and opposition by contemporaries, was attributed, at the time, to the disruption caused by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, to the presence of larger numbers of foreigners in Lisbon, and to a better knowledge of the 'fashion' of other countries, especially France. This chapter provides four examples: (i) Teresa de Mello Breyner; (ii) Joana Isabel Forjaz; (iii) Dona Leonor de Almeida Portugal, Marquise of Alorna; and (iv) Francisca de Paula Possollo da Costa, which illustrate the paradoxical situation of women writers and intellectuals living in Portugal during the second half of the eighteenth century and the first decades of the nineteenth century. Although they were recognised as authors, they were not treated by posterity as equals to their male peers. Finally, the chapter shows how women's access to literacy opened the way to self-didacticism.

Keywords: Dona Leonor de Almeida; eighteenth century; Francisca de Paula Possollo da Costa; Joana Isabel Forjaz; Lisbon; Portugal; Teresa de Mello Breyner; women writers



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