Download New Woman Fiction: Women Writing First-Wave Feminism by A. Heilmann PDF

By A. Heilmann

The recent girl was once the emblem of the moving different types of gender and sexuality and epitomised the spirit of the fin de siècle . This informative monograph bargains an interdisciplinary method of the starting to be box of recent lady reviews through exploring the connection among first-wave feminist literature, the nineteenth-century women's circulate and feminine customer tradition. The publication expertly locations the controversy approximately femininity, feminism and fiction in its cultural and socio-historical context, interpreting New lady fiction as a style whose rising theoretical discourse prefigured innovations significant to second-wave feminist thought.

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Consumer culture and the revolting daughter The profound political impact New Woman fiction had by establishing a ‘community of women readers’41 was considerably aided by the reader debates fostered by the periodical press. As the concepts of femininity and feminism moved closer together, the younger generation of middleclass women were increasingly attracted to the lifestyle issues associated with the New Woman: her demand to be treated as a reasonable adult able to determine her own destiny without undue parental intervention or supervision, her wish for greater freedom of movement, her desire for increased educational opportunities, her expectation of professional fulfilment.

Her most prominent characteristic is disloyalty to her own sex. Sarah Grand, ‘The New Woman and the Old’ (1898)2 [A] truer type of woman is springing up in our midst, combining the ‘sweet, domestic graces’ of the bygone days with a wideminded interest in things outside her own immediate circle, extending her womanly influence to the world that so sadly needs the true women’s touch to keep it all that true woman would have it. The woman comes forth for the world’s need. Austin May, ‘Womanly Women’ (1893)3 I want to speak in the name of the average more or less unemployed, tea-drinking, lawn-tennis playing, ball-going damsel, whose desire for greater emancipation does not run in the same lines as those of the independent shop-girl, or of the young woman with a mission.

In Ward’s anti-suffrage novel Delia Blanchflower (1915) the opponent of law and order is no longer cast as a socialist, but as a suffragette. Like Marcella ambushed ideologically by a clever strategy of emotional blackmail, Delia becomes entangled with the man-hater Gertrude Marvell to the extent of joining her ‘Daughters of Revolt’. While Linton discredits suffragists as adventurers and exhibitionists in search of erotic pleasure, Ward disparages her militant feminists as failed women and freaks of nature consumed by anger and resentment: In the dim illumination the faces of the six women emerged, typical .

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