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Rewriting Corinne

Sensation and the Tragedy of the Exceptional Woman in Rhoda Broughton's Good-bye, Sweetheart!

Tamar Heller

Reading Rhoda Broughton's fourth novel Good-bye, Sweetheart! (1872) as a revision of Germaine de Staël's Corinne (1807), this essay examines Broughton's depiction of the exceptional woman who tragically defies the gender norms of her day. Like Staël's famous improvisatrice, Broughton's rebellious heroine Lenore Herrick dies heartbroken after her fiancé discards her to marry a more docile girl. Significantly, however, Broughton's Victorian protagonist is even more disempowered than her Romantic predecessor; lacking an artistic career like Corinne, Lenore is, finally, a rebel without a cause.

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