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Palgrave Macmillan

British Women Writers and the Short Story, 1850-1930

Reclaiming Social Space

ISBN 9781137359230
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The emergence of the short story in Britain in the Victorian and modernist period coincided with the rise of the professional woman writer. Circulating through the periodical press, short stories contributed to ongoing debates regarding 'the Woman Question'. By addressing a critically neglected form, this book reveals the ways in which women writers incited social change by complicating Victorian and modernist notions of gender and social space. Short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell, Rhoda Broughton, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Egerton, Charlotte Mew, Evelyn Sharp, Barbara Baynton, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, and Jean Rhys hinge upon catalytic moments. When heroines surmount the limitations of their prescribed roles by redefining their boundaries, they revise dominant narratives of femininity. These writers' innovative works ask Britons to reconsider where women could live, how they could be identified, and whether they could be contained.

Kate Krueger is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Women and Gender Studies at Arkansas State University, USA, specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature. She has previously published on the short fiction of Virginia Woolf, George Egerton, Charlotte Mew, and Evelyn Sharp.

List of Illustrations
Introduction Feminine Occupations
1. The Spinster Re-Drawing Rooms in Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford
2. M.E. Braddon, Rhoda Broughton, and the Specter of Social Critique
3. Possessing London: The Yellow Book's Women Writers
4. Barbara Baynton and Katherine Mansfield's Unsettling Women
Conclusion Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Narratives of Obscurity


"Wide-ranging, incisive and thoroughly readable, this will be essential reading for anyone interested in women writers' contribution to the short story tradition." - Ailsa Cox, Edgehill University, UK
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