Father and Daughter, The: By Amelia Opie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Amelia Opie’s The Father and Daughter: A Tale in Prose (1801) tells the story of Agnes Fitzhenry’s seduction and loss of virtue, as well as her subsequent attempts to reintegrate into society. This essay situates the text in relation to previous eighteenth-century stories concerning lost female chastity. In doing so, I argue that The Father and Daughter is curiously both progressive and reactionary. Progressive insofar as the rehabilitation of Agnes concerns her reacceptance into the community, contrasting with the purely personal recovery of fallen women seen in other works. And reactionary insofar as the turning toward community and simultaneous turning away from introspective sensibility maps closely onto a political landscape where conservatism was aligned with social duty and radicalism with strong feelings. Ultimately, Opie’s text attempts to reconcile opposing political positions while maintaining strong advocacy for women who lost their virtue.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Romantic-Era Women's Writing
EditorsNatasha Duquette
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9783030119454
ISBN (Print)9783030119454
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2023


  • Sensibility
  • Sentiment
  • Romantic
  • Reception
  • Family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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