Carolyn Oulton recovers the strategies nineteenth-century authors used to justify the ideal of same-sex romantic friendship and the anxieties these strategies reveal. Informed by recent insights into the erotic potential of such relationships, but focused on romantic friendship as an independent and fully formulated ideal, Oulton departs from other critics who view romantic friendship as either nebulous and culturally naive or an invocation of homoerotic responsiveness. By considering both male and female friendships, Oulton uncovers surprising parallels between them in novels and poetry by authors such as Dickens, Tennyson, Disraeli, Charlotte Brontë, and Braddon. Oulton also examines conduct manuals, periodicals, and religious treatises, tracing developments from mid-century to the fin de siècle, when romantic friendship first came under serious attack. Her book is a persuasive challenge to those who view mid-Victorian England, existing in a state of blissful pre-Freudian innocence, as unproblematically accommodating of passionate same-sex relationships.
Giving a comprehensive critique of Cholmondeley's writings, Oulton analyzes the inspiration and influences behind some of her greatest work and provides an appealing biography on a writer whose work is of increasing interest to modern scholars.
This study explores the ways in which Dickens’s published work and his thousands of letters intersect, to shape and promote particular myths of the reading experience, as well as redefining the status of the writer. It shows that the boundaries between private and public writing are subject to constant disruption and readjustment, as recipients of letters are asked to see themselves as privileged readers of coded text or to appropriate novels as personal letters to themselves. Imaginative hierarchies are both questioned and ultimately reinforced, as prefaces and letters function to create a mythical reader who is placed in imaginative communion with the writer of the text. But the written word itself becomes increasingly unstable, through its association in the later novels with evasion, fraud and even murder.
Contains three early examples of the genre of New Woman writing, each portraying women in ways wholly different to those which had gone before. This title includes "Kith and Kin" (1881), "Miss Brown" and "The Wing of Azrael".
The late nineteenth century saw the emergence of New Woman fiction, a genre of writing which sought to challenge traditional Victorian conceptions of the role of women and promote their independence, education and political participation. This collection brings together important examples of New Woman fiction, each of which helped to crystallise the idea of the New Woman - as an educated, politically aware and independent individual - during the early years of the suffragette movement. The book will be of interest to students of the suffragette movement, as well as to those interested in the history of feminism more generally.
This five-volume series, British Women’s Writing From Brontë to Bloomsbury, 1840-1940, historically contextualizes and traces developments in women’s fiction from 1840 to 1940. Critically assessing both canonical and lesser-known British women’s writing decade by decade, it redefines the landscape of women’s authorship across a century of dynamic social and cultural change. With each of its volumes devoted to two decades, the series is wide in scope but historically sharply defined. Volume 1: 1840s and 1850s inaugurates the series by historically and culturally contextualizing Victorian women’s writing distinctly within the 1840s and 1850s. Using a range of critical perspectives i...
Concentrating on a period of significant social and political change and exploring both canonical and newly rediscovered texts, this book critically assess the changing culture of the late-Victorian period as represented by a range of women writers through a range of essays by leading academics in the field and cutting-edge work by newer scholars.