In her ambitious and wide-ranging study, Cheek situates “women’s writing” as a transnational rather than merely national phenomenon. Following Benedict Anderson, she argues that “a new form of imagined community [was] constituted by and through the practices of consuming and producing women’s writing.” Her object of study here is a large group of French, English, German, and Dutch texts; her sequence of chapters proceeds roughly in chronological order from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. Using an impressive array of theoretical approaches, Cheek traces the emergence of a transnational category of “women’s writing,” one developed in the responses these authors created to historical circumstances of genderization and gender violence in a variety of ways and genres. Cheek’s kaleidoscopic representation of literary, social, ethical, legal, and political factors influencing this transnational generation of women’s writing raises significant questions and leaves much food for thought.

An introductory chapter on “Networks of...

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