Abstract

Abstract:

This essay examines eleven memoirs written by literary widows and published between 1926 and 2010. They range from adoring to bitter. Their major themes are the conflicts in marriage, the struggle for dominance and submission, the suffering from infidelity and alcoholism, the expression of resentment and anger. They all define themselves in relation to their husbands, yet need to break away, regain their own identity and tell their own story. Some emphasize the writer's personal faults at the expense of his artistic achievement, and their literary efforts were inevitably criticized by reviewers for exploiting the author's name or for failing to recognize his artistic value. The best memoirs—by Frieda Lawrence, Eileen Simpson and Claire Bloom—have style, insight and compassion.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 155-184
Launched on MUSE
2021-04-22
Open Access
No
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