Walsingham: Or the Pupil of Nature
OverviewWalsingham is both a lively story and a commentary by Mary Robinson on her society's constraints upon women. The novel follows the lives of two main characters, Walsingham Ainsforth and his cousin, Sir Sidney Aubrey, a girl who is passed off as a son by her mother so that she will become the family heir. Sidney, educated in France, returns to England as an adult and persistently sabotages Walsingham's love interests (having secretly fallen in love with him herself). Eventually, Sidney reveals her identity, and she and Walsingham declare their mutual love, wed, and share the family's estate. This Broadview edition includes a rich selection of primary sources material including contemporary reviews; historical and literary accounts of eighteenth-century female cross-dressers; and selections from contemporary works that focus on the figure of the "fallen" woman.