Women and Politeness in Eighteenth-Century England: Bodies, Identities, and Power, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women and Politeness in Eighteenth-Century England

Bodies, Identities, and Power, 1st Edition

By Soile Ylivuori


296 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138318663
pub: 2018-10-23
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429454431
pub: 2018-10-29
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This first in-depth study of women’s politeness examines the complex relationship individuals had with the discursive ideals of polite femininity. Contextualising women’s autobiographical writings (journals and letters) with a wide range of eighteenth-century printed didactic material, it analyses the tensions between politeness discourse which aimed to regulate acceptable feminine identities and women’s possibilities to resist this disciplinary regime. Ylivuori focuses on the central role the female body played as both the means through which individuals actively fashioned themselves as polite and feminine, and the supposedly truthful expression of their inner status of polite femininity.

Table of Contents


1. Framing the Stage: Politeness and the Body

2. Gendered Politeness and Power

3. Hypocrisy and Strategic Dissimulation

4. Playing with Public and Private

5. Multiple Identities

6. Discipline and Subversion


About the Author

Soile Ylivuori is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Eighteenth-Century Cultures and Societies

The long eighteenth century sits as a pivotal point between the early-modern and modern worlds. By actively encouraging an international focus for the series over all, both in terms of wide-ranging geographical topics and authorial locations, the series aims to feature cutting-edge research from established and recent scholars, and capitalize on the breadth of themes and topics that new approaches to research in the period reveal. This series provides a forum for recent and established historians to present new research and explore fresh approaches to culture and society in the long eighteenth century. As a crucial period of transition, the period saw developments that shaped perceptions of the place of the individual and the collective in the construction of the modern world. Eighteenth-Century Cultures and Societies is a series that is globally ambitious in scope and broad in its desire to publish cutting-edge research that takes an innovative, multi-vocal and increasingly holistic approach to the period. The series will be particularly sensitive to questions of gender and class, but aims to embrace and explore a variety of fresh approaches and methodologies.

This series wishes to become the first point of call for scholars and students interested in this period by capturing, promoting and disseminating exciting new socio-cultural research. The editors seek proposals for book-length studies from individual or multiple authors that focus on aspects of British, European or transnational culture and society for the period c.1680–1850. While proposals for regional/national case studies are welcome, all authors in the series will be expected to situate their research, historically and historiographically, in a wider international framework in order to ensure that it is accessible to students as well as scholars. Theoretically informed research will need to be presented clearly and accessibly. We envision volumes of 90,000–120,000 words in length (inclusive) and illustrated with c.15 – 20 images.

Series Editors:

Elaine Chalus: E.H.Chalus@liverpool.ac.uk

Deborah Simonton: dsimonton@sdu.dk

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HISTORY / Social History