Filial Piety in C & P


Kacy Dowd Tillman

University of Tampa

I taught The History of Constantius and Pulchera in my upper-level undergraduate course, “Crossdressers, Coquettes, and Libertines.” Thirteen students (primarily English majors) and I read it the second week of class to prepare to study fiction in the long eighteenth century, namely The Power of Sympathy, Charlotte Temple, The Coquette, Wieland, Ormond, Female Quixotism, and The Female Marine.  At first, the students did not believe me when I told them what they could expect from Constantius and Pulchera.  Crossdressing? Near-cannibalism? Shipwrecks? Bears? To a group of people who thought all early American literature read like “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” this was an interesting, scandalous, and surprising text.
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