Belle Époque Novels of Professional Development
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Penn State University Press
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Over the past ten years, I have benefited from the support of a number of institutions that gave me time off from teaching in order to work on this project. I am grateful for a Camargo Foundation fellowship in Cassis, France, which offered a beautiful setting for writing and reflection. The...
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this book will contribute a new facet to literary histories of the Belle Epoque, one that has not been explored previously: the fascinating subgenre of the bildungsroman that flourished briefly during the first decade of the twentieth century in France, and that I have labeled...
1. Innovation and Education: Historical Contexts from the Belle Epoque
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The events of the Third Republic that would have the most significant impact on women’s lives, both immediately and on a long-term basis, were the creation of girls’ public secondary schools and women’s teacher training schools (les �coles normales), along with the decision to require primary...
2. Literary Contexts: Bildungsroman, Erziehungsroman, and Berufsroman
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Women writers of the Belle Epoque who developed plots about the education and professional careers of modern women brought surprising innovations to a genre that had existed for some time in Europe. Although novels of professional or educational development may appear to...
3. Dreams and Disappointments: Women’s Education Novels
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Less than twenty years after the French Republic passed a law requiring primary education for both boys and girls, the surprising Claudine � l’�cole (Claudine at School) took Paris by storm. The charming schoolgirl heroine created a fad for Claudine hats, cigarettes, soap, perfume, and other items...
4. Cervelines: Women Scientists in Novels of Professional Development
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On April 12, 1898, professor Gabriel Lippmann made a report to the Acad�mie des Sciences de Paris about a discovery made by one of his former students: the radioactivity of certain minerals and two new chemical elements, which would later be called polonium and radium. He was announcing...
5. Ind�pendantes: Professional Women Writers
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Women writers who discussed Yver’s Princesses de science did not give it unanimous praise. The novelist and journalist Camille Marbo wrote a fairly severe critique of the work in her article “La Femme intellectuelle au foyer” (“The Intellectual Woman at Home”), published in the August...
6. The Composite Novel: Women Lawyers in Les Dames du Palais
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The legal profession proved to be one of the least popular career choices with women of the Belle Epoque, and numbers of women in this field did not increase until well after World War I.1 Yet women were constantly in the courthouses of France, due to an increase in infamous women...
7. After the War
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In this book I have concentrated on women writers from the first decade of the twentieth century because that is the time period when novels featuring women professionals first blossomed and enjoyed both critical and popular success. When World War I began, the tone and topic of women...
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Page Count: 260
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: Penn State Romance Studies