Polishing the Public Sphere: Courtesans and Female Virtue in Eighteenth-Century British Print Culture
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Throughout the latter decades of the eighteenth century, popular print culture was a central arena for the negotiation of competing societal discourses. As the cultural narratives of elite libertine enlightenment and middle-class propriety vied for cultural dominance, their respective constructions of women, of acceptable femininity, and of female sexuality became a point of significant contention. This project traces the changing dynamics of that struggle for cultural hegemony through the changing depiction of elite courtesans and female sexuality in popular print culture.
CitationMerritt, L. D. (2013). Polishing the public sphere: Courtesans and female virtue in eighteenth-century British print culture (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.