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The Feminine Political Novel in Victorian England

by Barbara Leah Harman

  • ISBN: 9780813917726
  • ISBN10: 0813917727

The Feminine Political Novel in Victorian England

by Barbara Leah Harman

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Virginia Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780813917726
  • ISBN10: 0813917727
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Description: In this ground-breaking book, Barbara Leah Harman convincingly establishes a new category in Victorian fiction: the feminine political novel. By studying Victorian female protagonists who participate in the public universe conventionally occupied by men -- the world of mills and city streets, of political activism and labor strikes, of public speaking and parliamentary debates -- she is able to reassess the public realm as the site of noble and meaningful action for women in Victorian England.

Harman examines at length Bronte's Shirley, Gaskell's North and South, Meredith's Diana of the Crossways, Gissing's In the Year of Jubilee, and Elizabeth Robins's The Convert, reading these novels in relation to each other and to developments in the emerging British women's movement. She argues that these texts constitute a countertradition in Victorian fiction: neither domestic fiction nor fiction about the public "fallen" woman, these novels reveal how nineteenth-century English writers began to think about female transgression into the political sphere and about the intriguing meanings of women's public appearances. The author draws on significant historical research, including materials related to female higher education, the law of "coverture" (under which a woman's legal identity was incorporated into that of her husband), the suffrage movement, and well-known prose works of the period such as Sarah Lewis's Woman's Mission and Mill's Subjection of Women.

Tracing the development of this new category of women's fiction from the veiled public appearances of Bronte's novels, through Meredith's rendering of the increasingly easy slide between public and private experiences, and finally toRobins's imagination of a renovated female public sphere, Barbara Leah Harman identifies and explores the significant tradition of female engagement in the public realm of Victorian England.

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Ex-library; "withdraw" stamp. In very good, unmarked condition. Your purchase benefits world-wide relief efforts of Mennonite Central Committee.
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Book. 8vo-over 7¾-9¾" tall. Argues that there is an additional tradition in
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