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ELT 47 : 4 2004 of Elliott's interest in The Angel out of the House, although this fascination is never completely worked out. However, The Angel out of the House will be helpful to many scholars. Elliott's meticulous research, historical acumen, and elegant literary analysis not only serve to increase our knowledge of the period under consideration, but also contextualize writings by women of later decades (for instance, suffragists of the 1880s and 90s relied on the well-worn metaphor of society as larger version of the home, too). The Angel out of the House finally extends beyond its own parameters, both illuminating the lives and writings of the generations of women who followed, but also leaving unanswered questions in its wake. We can only hope that this study inspires another scholar to analyze the persistence with which women continue to represent themselves as angels out of the house well into World War Two and even today, in the age of our alleged liberation. KABI HARTMAN __________________ Temple University Women, Modernism & British Poetry Jane Dowson. Women, Modernism and British Poetry, 1910-1939: Resisting Femininity. Burlington: Ashgate, 2002. xv + 285 pp. $79.95 MARKETED as an important literary history, Jane Dowson's most recent book certainly fulfills this characterization. In Women, Modernism and British Poetry, 1910-1939, Dowson analyzes many of the women poets included in her earlier critical anthology, Women Poets of the 1930s (1996). She also articulates a strong argument for a definition of modernism that includes these women, many of whom have been excluded not only from traditional definitions of the term but even from more pluralistic definitions of it. While the attempts to open up the canon to a wider range of writers have been successful, Dowson reminds us that " [s] ome feminist histories have also colluded with the exclusivity of the so-called avant-garde and discounted non-experimentalists, partly because they seem old-fashioned and partly because they appear to support patriarchal structures by adopting verse forms associated with a male-dominated tradition." By examining the work of these excluded non-experimentalists, Dowson believes that we more clearly can see how modernism might be defined with more historical accuracy. In doing the work of historicizing modernism, Dowson builds off her previous publications, but she also builds off the work of other critics, perhaps most notably Bonnie Kime Scott, editor of The Gender ofMod463 BOOK REVIEWS ernism and author of Refiguring Modernism. Scott is among the critics Dowson cites as those working against "language-centred interpretations of modernism" and the "canonisation process . . . which ignores other breaks with tradition," but, interestingly, Dowson seems to write both with and against Scott. She appears to embrace the complex web of writers Scott mapped out in The Gender of Modernism, but she also critiques the alternative canon formation Scott helped to establish in Refiguring Modernism, which identifies certain women writers (Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, and Rebecca West) as key figures in modernism . Dowson wants to acknowledge a much wider range of women writers, including those who previously have been ignored because they seem not to fit the criteria of an alternative modernism any better than they do the criteria of a traditional modernism. The unique contribution of these twice excluded women writers to modernism, Dowson argues, is the development of a "self-assertive colloquial voice" that need not be seen as wholly masculine nor entirely feminine. Dowson divides her more inclusive literary history into six sections: The Literary Context, Rear-Guard Modernism, The British AvantGarde , The Anglo-American Avant-Garde, Female Modernism, and The 1930s. This division according to subgroups in modernism allows her to highlight the various approaches to poetry within a pluralistic modernism , as well as cover a wide range of writers, some of whom truly are absent from other books on modernism. For example, Dowson's section The British Avant-Garde includes discussion of the work of Iris Tree and Helen Rootham, both of whom had poems published in the Wheels anthology but have not been included in other books concerned with expanding the canon. While one wishes Dowson had included even more analysis of Tree's and Rootham's poems, the information and analysis she...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 463-466
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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