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Literary Degenerates


This volume brings together the voices of female New Woman writers and late Victorian literary criticism. The contemporary debate on New Woman fiction formed part of a wider discourse on decadence, degeneration and the crises of gender and sexuality in culture, literature and political life. Many female New Woman writers, though constructed as decadents by the press, saw themselves as a regenerative force in society, and therefore as the opposite of fin-de-siècle decadence, which they regarded as a predominantly male and masculinist movement indifferent or hostile to the woman’s cause.

Volume Contents

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    Front Matter
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    Introduction By Ann Heilmann
  • Pathologizing Feminism
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      'The Strike of a Sex', Quarterly Review, vol. 179 (1894), pp. 289-318 By William Barry
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      'Literary Degenerates', Fortnightly Review, vol. 57 ns (1895), pp. 586-92 By Janet E. Hogarth
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      'Tommyrotics', Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, vol. 157 (1895), vol. 157, pp. 833-45 By Hugh E. M. Stutfield
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      'The Psychology of Feminism', Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, vol. 161 (1897), pp. 104-17 By Hugh E. M. Stutfield
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      'The Women of To-Day', The Psychology of Woman, translated by Georgia A. Etchison (London: Grant Richards, 1899), chap. 3, pp. 33-59 By Laura Marholm; Georgia A. Etchison
  • Colonizing Feminism
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      'Plain Words on the Woman Question', Popular Science Monthly (1889), pp. 170-81 By Grant Allen
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      [Review of] The Woman Who Did, Contemporary Review, vol. 67 (1895), pp. 625-31 By Millicent Garrett Fawcett
  • Sexualizing Feminism
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      'The Tree of Knowledge', New Review, vol. 10 (1894), pp. 675-90 With contributions by Madam Adam, Rev. H. Adler, Walter Besant, Björnsterne Björnson, Hall Caine, Madame Sarah Grand, Mrs. Edmund Grosse, Thomas Hardy, Mrs Lynn Linton, Max Nordeau, Lady Henry Somerset, the Baroness von Suttner, Miss Frances E. Willard, and Israel Zangwill By Madame Adam; Rev. H. Adler; Walter Besant; Björnsterne Björnson; Hall Caine; Madame Sarah Grand; Mrs Edmund Gosse; Thomas Hardy; Mrs Lynn Linton; Max Nordau; Lady Henry Somerset; Baroness von Suttner; Miss Frances E. Willard; Israel Zangwill
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      'Sex in Modern Literature', Nineteenth Century, vol. 37 (1895), pp. 607-16 By B. A. Crackanthorpe
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      'Sex in Fiction', Westminster Review, vol. 143 (1895), 616-25 By D. F. Hannigan
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      'The Fiction of Sexuality', Contemporary Review, vol. 67 (1895), pp. 490-98 By James Ashcroft Noble
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      'The Anti-Marriage League', Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (1896), pp. 135-49 By Margaret O. W. Oliphant
  • Negotiating Feminism
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      'The Novel of the Modern Woman' Review of Reviews, vol. 10 (1894), pp. 64-74 * By W. T. Stead
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      'A Dominant Note of some Recent Fiction', Westminster Review, vol. 142 (1894), pp. 537-45 By Thomas Bradfield
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      'The Debrutalisation of Man', Contemporary Review, vol. 67 (1895), sections 2 and 4, pp. 728-33, 742-3 By Blanche Leppington
    • 'Marriage Questions in Modern Fiction', 'Marriage Rejection and Marriage Reform' in Marriage Questions in Modern Fiction, and Other Essays on Kindred Subjects (London: Lane, th Bodley Head, 1897), pp. 1-41, 87-128 By Elizabeth Rachel Chapman
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        Marriage Questions in Modern Fiction
      • Marriage Rejection and Marriage Reform
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      'Bachelor Women', Contemporary Review, vol. 73 (1898), pp. 866-75 By Stephen Gwynn
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      'Women as Writers' in Words to Women: Addresses and Essays (London: Burnet and Isabister, 1900), pp. 67-72 1 By Mrs H. R. Haweis
  • Anticipating Images of Women Criticism
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      'The Disparagement of Women in Literature', in Marriage Questions in Modern Fiction, and Other Essays on Kindred Subjects (London: Lane, the Bodley Head, 1897), pp. 43-86 By Elizabeth Rachel Chapman
  • Women (Writers) discuss Women and Writing
    • [From] 'Some Women Novelists', Woman at Home, vol. 7 (1897), pp. 176-82, 195-200, 206-11 By Sarah A. Tooley
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        Sarah Grand
      • Miss Beatrice Harraden
      • Mrs. Lynn Linton
      • Ouida
      • Mrs. Louisa Parr
      • Mrs. Olive Schreiner
      • Mrs. Humphry Ward
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      Preface to The Wing of Azrael, vol. 1 (London: Trübner & Co., 1889), vol 1, pp. vii-xi By Mona Caird
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      [From] 'Letter to Prof. Viëtor, London, 5 December 1896', in Ernst Foerster, Die Frauenfrage in den Romanen Englischer Schriftstellerinnen der Gegenwart (Marburg: N. G. Elwert’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1907), pp. 52–4 By Mona Caird
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      [From] 'Letter to Prof. Viëtor, London, 8 December 1896', in Ernst Foerster, Die Frauenfrage in den Romanen Englischer Schriftstellerinnen der Gegenwart (Marburg: N. G. Elwert’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1907), p. 51 By George Egerton
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      [From] 'Letter to Ernst Foerster, London, 1 July 1900', in Ernst Foerster, Die Frauenfrage in den Romanen Englischer Schriftstellerinnen der Gegenwart (Marburg: N. G. Elwert’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1907), pp. 46–8 By George Egerton
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      [From] ‘A Keynote to Keynotes’, in John Gawsworth (ed.), Ten Contemporaries: Notes Toward Their Definitive Bibliography (London: Ernest Benn, 1932), pp. 58–60 By George Egerton
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      'Neurotic Keynotes', in Modern Women, translated by Hermione Ramsden (London: Lane, the Bodley Head, 1895), pp. 61-92 By Laura Marholm; Laura Marholm, afterwards Hansson; Hermione Ramsden
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      [from] Letter to Prof. Viëtor, Nizza, 15 December 1896, in Ernst Foerster, Die Frauenfrage in den Romanen Englischer Schriftstellerinnen der Gegenwart (Marburg: N. G. Elwert’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1907), pp. 56–8 By Sarah Grand
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      'The Woman’s Question. An Interview with Madame Sarah Grand', Humanitarian, vol. 8 (1896), pp. 161-9 By Sarah A. Tooley
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      'Madame Sarah Grand at Home', Young Woman, vol. 8 (1897), pp. 81-7 By Sarah A. Tooley
    • [From] The Beth Book (Bristol: Thoemmes, 1994; first published 1897), chaps. 47-8, and [from] 52, pp. 445-78, 517-18 By Sarah Grand
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        Chapter XLVII
      • Chapter XLVIII
      • Chapter LII
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      'Marriage Questions in Fiction. The Standpoint of a Typical Modern Woman', Fortnightly Review, vol. 69 (1898), pp. 379-89 By Sarah Grand
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      [from] ‘Author’s Preface’ and ‘Waldo’s Stranger’, in The Story of an African Farm (London: Collins, 1959; first published 1883), pp. 15, 151 By Olive Schreiner
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      'Letter to Karl Pearson, 23 October 1886', in Richard Rive (ed.), Olive Schreiner Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), vol. 1, pp. 109-10 By Olive Schreiner
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      [from] ‘The Veranda’, in From Man to Man (London: Virago, 1982; first published 1926), pp. 471–4 By Olive Schreiner