Translation as De-Radicalization: On the Transforming of Mary Hays’s Memoirs of Emma Courtney into French

  • Helena Bergmann
Keywords: Godwin, De Meulan, Imitation, Textual colonisation, Female emancipation

Abstract

The semi-autobiographical confessional and feminist tract, Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796), by the British radical writer Mary Hays (1759–1843), was translated into French by Pauline de Meulan (1773–1827) in 1799, as La Chapelle D’Ayton, ou Emma Courtney. As opposed to its English model, which was given a mixed reception due to its emotional and compromising authentic background, the translated version became immensely popular in France. One reason for this was the major extension made to the action through the adding of plots and characters from several other British works. The article focusses on the various measures taken by the translator to purge the parts of the original work she chose to maintain from their reliance on feminism and contemporary radical philosophies. This was carried out through a process of exclusion, character modification and alteration of genre. The methods for deepening the characterisation and improving the work stylistically are also analysed.
Published
2018-02-21
How to Cite
Bergmann, H. (2018). Translation as De-Radicalization: On the Transforming of Mary Hays’s Memoirs of Emma Courtney into French. Romantik: Journal for the Study of Romanticisms, 6(1), 83-97. https://doi.org/10.7146/rom.v6i1.104383
Section
Articles