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Palgrave Macmillan

Women in Transit through Literary Liminal Spaces

ISBN 9781137330468
Publication Date September 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This volume explores women's intricate negotiations for traversing space in Anglo-American literature, written by or about women between the Victorian era and the 1950s. Whereas previous studies have tended to focus on a single aspect of women's engagement with space, be it the urban setting, the domestic interior, or the natural world, this volume considers women's temporary occupation of an array of liminal spaces and its literary representations during the period of approximately one hundred years that permanently changed gender relations. It brings together careful and subtle readings of spaces that are neither strictly private nor incontestably public, and furnishes important evidence that being 'in transit' not only implies crossing, but often actually eradicating established boundaries: between the public and the private, between home and away, and between gender and genre codes.

Teresa Gómez Reus is Senior Lecturer of English at the University of Alicante, Spain. She has published on Anglo-American women writers of the late nineteenth and twentieth century and feminist criticism. Previous publications include the co-edited Inside Out: Women Negotiating, Subverting, Appropriating Public and Private Space (2008).

Terry Gifford is Profesor Honorario at the University of Alicante, Spain, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Writing and Environment, Bath Spa University, UK. Previous publications include Ted Hughes (2009), Reconnecting With John Muir: Essays in Post-Pastoral Practice (2006), Pastoral (1999) and Green Voices: Understanding Contemporary Nature Poetry (2nd edition, 2011).

1. 'Nobody's child must sleep under Somebody's roof – and why not yours?': Adventures of the Female Ego in Dickens, George Meredith's The Egoist and Wilkie Collins's No Name; Shannon Russell
2. 'Dangerous Domestic Secrets' on Trial in The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins; Janet Stobbs Wright
3. 'Running on lines': Women and the Railway in Victorian and early Modernist Culture; Anna Despotopoulou
4. Stepping Out: 'At Home' or 'From our Own Correspondent'? The Lady Writer or the Woman Journalist?; Valerie Fehlbaum
5. 'I write the truth as I see it:' Unsettling the Boundaries of Gender, Travel Writing and Ethnography in Isabella Bird's Unbeaten Tracks in Japan; Daniela Kato
6. Early Women Mountaineers Achieve Both Summits and Publication in Britain and America; Terry Gifford
7. Racing to the Front: Auto-mobility and Competing Narratives of Women in the First World War; Teresa Gómez Reus
8. 'Always Coming and Going': The In-Between Spaces of Elizabeth Bowen's Early Novels; Emma Short
9. Moving Back to 'Home' and 'Nation': Women Dramatists, 1938-1945; Rebecca D'Monté
10. Spatial Parody, Theatricalisation and Constructions of 'Self' in Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt and Carson McCullers' The Ballad of the Sad Café; Frances Piper
11. 'Fritillary Fever': Cultivating the Self and Gardening the World in the Writing of Clara Coltman Vyvyan; Niamh Downing

Anna Despotopoulou, University of Athens, Greece
Valerie Fehlbaum, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Shannon Russell, John Cabot University in Rome, Italy
Rebecca D'Monté, University of the West of England, UK
Terry Gifford, University of Alicante, Spain
Daniela Kato, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, China
Emma Short, Newcastle University, UK
Frances Piper, University of Salford, UK
Niamh Downing, University College Falmouth, UK
Teresa Gómez Reus, University of Alicante, Spain
Janet Stobbs Wright, University of CEU Cardenal Herrera in Elche, Spain


Teresa Gómez Reus and Terry Gifford's edited collection is a timely book, which provides an extremely valuable account of women's negotiations with spaces in transit in the work of women writers between the Victorian age and the 1950s. The collection suggests new ways of thinking about women and space in a range of texts, successfully structured in three sections which are indebted to Arnold Van Gennep's stages of rites of passage. Undoubtedly, Gómez Reus and Gifford's volume will become essential reading for those interested in the field of gender and spatial studies.
Rosario Arias, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Málaga, Spain
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