Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2020

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Traynor Hansen

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Christine Chaney


Autobiography, self-rendering, Romantic, Wordsworth, Wollstonecraft, Robinson


This paper covers the origination of British autobiography and investigates why authors began to write autobiographically through the analysis of three pioneering autobiographical works: The Prelude by William Wordsworth, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft, and Memoirs of Mary Robinson, “Perdita,” by Mary Robinson. In each section of this paper, I examine these stories and authors individually and attempt to unearth what pushed each author toward autobiographical writing in relation to what drove them to publish their work. I argue that autobiography is centered around rendering oneself, and that self-renderings these authors created point to their purposes for writing, publishing, and showing themselves autobiographically, as well as the lack of individuality present in the 18th and early 19thcenturies that these works were founded in.