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New Woman Fiction, 1881-1899


New Woman Fiction, 1881-1899

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This second part of New Woman Fiction covers four texts from the 1890s, as well as Netta Syrett's autobiography. These works helped to crystallize the idea of the 'New Woman' during a period where the role of women was increasingly debated and challenged, not least due to the growth of the suffrage movement. The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective (1894) by C L Pirkis is a collection of seven stories about a female investigator. Not only is Brooke one of the first female detectives, but unlike other contemporary women sleuths, she is shown to be an independent career woman, and not driven to her cause by the need to redeem a male relative's honour. The stories' significance lies not merely in the influence they had over later female detectives, but also in Brooke's triumphs over gender stereotypes and expectations. Annie E Holdsworth's 1895 novel The Years that the Locust Hath Eaten tells the story of a young writer who avoids an arranged marriage with a landed gentleman by marrying the son of a country merchant, against her father's wishes. The novel is a critique of middle-class marriage and offers a wider look at the intricacies of the British class system. Also includes Holdworth's 'Joanna Traill, Spinster' (1893). Nobody's Fault (1896) is the first novel of Netta Syrett. A fin de siecle re-writing of two more cautiously feminist works (Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility and Dinah Craik's Olive) the novel recounts the different lives of two friends from differing social backgrounds. Their contrasting circumstances and the opportunities that these afford allow questions about economics to enter the feminist debate. Her autobiography, The Sheltering Tree (1939) is also included.  
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  • PDF | 816 pages
  • Unknown
  • Pickering Chatto Ltd
  • Unknown
  • 6
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