In this Book

The Ohio State University Press
summary
Molly Youngkin takes on a major literary problem of the turn-of-the-century: Was the transition from the Victorian novel to the modern novel enabled by antirealist or realist narrative strategies? To answer this question, Youngkin analyzes book reviews that appeared in two prominent feminist periodicals circulated during the late-Victorian era—Shafts and The Woman’s Herald. Through reviews of the works of important male and female authors of the decade—Thomas Hardy, Sarah Grand, George Gissing, Mona Caird, George Meredith, Ménie Dowie, George Moore, and Henrietta Stannard—these periodicals developed a feminist realist aesthetic that drew on three aspects of woman’s agency (consciousness, spoken word, and action) and emphasized corresponding narrative strategies (internal perspective, dialogue, and description of characters’ actions). Still, these periodicals privileged consciousness over spoken word and action and, by doing so, encouraged authors to push the boundaries of traditional realism and anticipate the modernist aesthetic. By acknowledging the role of the woman’s press in the development of the novel, this book revises our understanding of the transition from Victorianism to modernism, which often is characterized as antirealist. Late-Victorian authors working within the realist tradition also contributed to this transition, particularly through their engagement with feminist realism. Youngkin deftly illustrates this transition and in so doing proves that it cannot be attributed to antirealist narrative strategies alone.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. p. iv
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  1. Front Matter
  2. pp. ii-iii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. p. vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction: The Woman's Press at the Fin de Siecle
  2. pp. 1-34
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  1. 1. "They are learning to think . . . for themselves": Consciousness Raised
  2. pp. 35-69
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  1. 2. "What the Girl Says": Spoken Word as Political Tool
  2. pp. 70-101
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  1. 3. Women at Work, at War, and on the Go: Feminist Action
  2. pp. 102-135
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  1. 4. "The Realistic Method in Its Best Expression": Successful Representations of Women's Agency and Literary Reputations
  2. pp. 136-172
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  1. Afterword: Engaging and Shaping Modernism
  2. pp. 173-184
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 185-195
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 197-207
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 209-216
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814272329
Related ISBN
9780814210482
MARC Record
OCLC
1229138025
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-09
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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