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New Woman Fiction (1) Marriage, Motherhood and Work


New Woman fiction left its mark on fin-de-siècle British culture, transforming the literary landscape well beyond the turn of the century; it also had a considerable impact on the formation of popular as well as political thought. ‘[T]hanks to our efforts’, Sarah Grand wrote in 1896, ‘the “novel with a purpose” and the “sex novel” are more powerful at the present time, especially for good, than any other social influence.’ By organizing their fiction around the primary concerns of the Victorian women’s movement (marriage, motherhood and moral reform; gender roles, sexuality and personal development; education and the professions; political emancipation), feminist writers created a gynocentric genre at the intersection of cultural politics and political activism, within whose framework feminist ideas could be articulated, theorized and popularized for a predominantly female mass market.

Volume Contents

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    Front Matter
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    Introduction By Ann Heilmann
  • To Marry or Not to Marry (A Man with a Past)
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      [From] The Heavenly Twins [London: Heinemann, 1908; first published 1893), vol. 1, bk 1, chap. 1, [from] 14, and 15, pp. 3-7, 75-100 By Sarah Grand
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      [From] A Superfluous Woman (London: Heinemann, 1894), pt 2, chaps 3-5, pp. 243-82 By Emma [Frances] Brooke
  • Sisterhood
    • [From] Ideala: A Study from Life (London: Bentley, 1889; first published 1888), preface and chaps, 2, 19, 29, and 30, pp. v-viii, 15-24, 160-166, 285,305 By Sarah Grand
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        Preface
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        Chapter II
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        Chapter XIX
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        Chapter XXIX
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        Chapter XXX
    • 'Alison' and 'Alison Arranges a Match', in The Story of a Modern Woman (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1895; first published 1894), chaps. 4 and 19, pp. 44-55, 211-221 By Ella Hepworth Dixon
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        Chapter IV
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        Chapter XIX
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      [From] On the Threshold (London: Edward Arnold, 1895), chap. 1,3,[from] 5, and 12, pp. 9-16, 26-39, 59-61, 119-25 By Isabella O. Ford
  • (Higher) Education and Work
    • 'A Child', 'The Central London School of Art', 'Perry Consoles', and 'In Grub Street', in The Story of a Modern Woman (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1895; first published 1894), chaps. 2,6,9, and 10, pp. 21-33, 68-76, 99-120 By Ella Hepworth Dixon
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        II
        A Child
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        VI
        The Central London School of Art
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        IX
        Perry Consoles
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        X
        In Grub Street
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      [From] Nobody’s Fault (London: Lane, 1896), pt 1, chap. 1, 4-6, pp 5-31, 69-127 By Netta Syrett
  • Marriage, the Artist and a Room of One’s own
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      [From] The Daughters of Danaus (London: Bliss, Sands & Co., 1894), chap. 34, pp. 314-24 By Mona Caird
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      [From] The Beth Book (Bristol: Thoemmes, 1994; first published 1897), chaps. 37-38, and 40, pp. 337-59, 369-79 By Sarah Grand
  • Marriage and Motherhood
    • [From] The Daughters of Danaus (London: Bliss, Sands & Co. 1894), chaps. 18,20, and 35-36, pp. 164-74, 186-94, 325-54 By Mona Caird
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        Chapter XVIII
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        Chapter XX
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        Chapter XXXV
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        Chapter XXXVI
    • [From] A Yellow Aster (London: Hutchinson, 1894), chaps. 34-36, pp. 230-59 By Iota [Kathleen Mannington Caffyn]
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        Chapter XXXIV
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        Chapter XXXV
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        Chapter XXXVI
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      'At the Heart of the Apple' in Symphonies (London: Lane, the Bodley Head, 1897), pp. 160-218 By George Egerton
  • Mother–Daughter Relationships
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      'Virgin Soil' in Discords (London: Lane, 1894), pp. 145-62 By George Egerton
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      [From] The Daughters of Danaus (London: Bliss, Sands & Co. 1894), chaps. 5, 7, 12, and 38, pp. 43-54, 60-72, 109-14, 359-65 By Mona Caird
    • [From] A Yellow Aster (London: Hutchinson, 1894), chaps. 38-40, pp. 268-85 By Iota [Kathleen Mannington Caffyn]
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        Chapter XXXVIII
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        Chapter XXXIX
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        Chapter XL