Families of the Heart: Surrogate Relations in the Eighteenth-Century British Novel (Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) (Paperback)

Families of the Heart: Surrogate Relations in the Eighteenth-Century British Novel (Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) By Ann Campbell Cover Image
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Description


In this innovative analysis of canonical British novels, Campbell identifies a new literary device—the surrogate family—as a signal of cultural anxieties about young women’s changing relationship to matrimony across the long eighteenth century. By assembling chosen families rather than families of origin, Campbell convincingly argues, female protagonists in these works compensate for weak family ties, explore the world and themselves, prepare for idealized marriages, or sidestep marriage altogether. Tracing the evolution of this rich convention from the female characters in Defoe’s and Richardson’s fiction who are allowed some autonomy in choosing spouses, to the more explicitly feminist work of Haywood and Burney, in which connections between protagonists and their surrogate sisters and mothers can substitute for marriage itself, this book makes an ambitious intervention by upending a traditional trope—the model of the hierarchal family—ultimately offering a new lens through which to regard these familiar works.

About the Author


Ann Campbell has published articles about family, courtship and marriage, and pedagogy in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Eighteenth-Century Life, Eighteenth-Century Women, Aphra Behn Online, and Digital Defoe. She is a professor of English at Boise State University in Idaho.

Praise For…


“Campbell opens our eyes to a revolution of choice taking place during the eighteenth century. This groundbreaking study of surrogate families in the novels of Defoe, Richardson, Haywood, and Burney highlights the changing dynamics of family and marital politics, influenced not by blood but by bond.”
— Katherine Ellison

“Ann Campbell’s Families of the Heart is a richly detailed study that provides a nuanced examination of surrogate families in the novels of Defoe, Haywood, Richardson, and Burney. Campbell’s insights about the roles of these families in the marriage plots of these novels are generative for scholars of the period.”
— Jennifer Golightly

“This study skillfully synthesizes, builds on, and extends, through careful close reading, existing scholarship on surrogate families. Careful textual analysis is supplemented by an array of contextual work, from Defoe’s didactic writing, to Richardson’s own epistles to his female friends, and Haywood’s periodicals. The novels under study, by Defoe, Richardson, Burney, and Haywood, are well selected and indicate not only broad changes over time but also, at times, the way authors experimented within their own corpus. Of particular note, is the perceptive reading of the way Richardson’s novels, in distinct and dynamic ways, experiment with familial configurations, moving towards a grand quasi-utopian vision of surrogate families in Sir Charles Grandison, one in which surrogate siblings become crucial to the intellectual and emotional development of main characters. Most valuable to this reader was the way in which this study reveals the way that women writers transformed inherited models of the surrogate family to create dynamic families who exist not merely to propel the female protagonist towards marriage but also to enhance the emotional and intellectual development of female characters, to encourage discernment in the selection of close advisers, and to demonstrate that women can live fulfilling lives regardless of circumstances. This close examination of ten novels provides a useful typology of surrogate families that is relevant both within and beyond the eighteenth century.”
— Sharon Alker

“Campbell opens our eyes to a revolution of choice taking place during the eighteenth century. This groundbreaking study of surrogate families in the novels of Defoe, Richardson, Haywood, and Burney highlights the changing dynamics of family and marital politics, influenced not by blood but by bond.”
— Katherine Ellison

“Ann Campbell’s Families of the Heart is a richly detailed study that provides a nuanced examination of surrogate families in the novels of Defoe, Haywood, Richardson, and Burney. Campbell’s insights about the roles of these families in the marriage plots of these novels are generative for scholars of the period.”
— Jennifer Golightly

“This study skillfully synthesizes, builds on, and extends, through careful close reading, existing scholarship on surrogate families. Careful textual analysis is supplemented by an array of contextual work, from Defoe’s didactic writing, to Richardson’s own epistles to his female friends, and Haywood’s periodicals. The novels under study, by Defoe, Richardson, Burney, and Haywood, are well selected and indicate not only broad changes over time but also, at times, the way authors experimented within their own corpus. Of particular note, is the perceptive reading of the way Richardson’s novels, in distinct and dynamic ways, experiment with familial configurations, moving towards a grand quasi-utopian vision of surrogate families in Sir Charles Grandison, one in which surrogate siblings become crucial to the intellectual and emotional development of main characters. Most valuable to this reader was the way in which this study reveals the way that women writers transformed inherited models of the surrogate family to create dynamic families who exist not merely to propel the female protagonist towards marriage but also to enhance the emotional and intellectual development of female characters, to encourage discernment in the selection of close advisers, and to demonstrate that women can live fulfilling lives regardless of circumstances. This close examination of ten novels provides a useful typology of surrogate families that is relevant both within and beyond the eighteenth century.”
— Sharon Alker
Product Details
ISBN: 9781684484232
ISBN-10: 1684484235
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication Date: November 11th, 2022
Pages: 176
Language: English
Series: Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850