The Odd Women

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"The impoverished Madden sisters are ill-equipped to support themselves when their father dies, and Monica sees her only chance of escape from a life of grinding misery in marriage. When she is befriended by two independent women, who strive to educate single women to take control of their destinies, the choices that lie ahead for all of them are starkly defined." The Odd Women is a dramatic exploration of the dilemmas facing the single woman at the turn of the century. Set in grimy, fog-ridden London, the novel paints a vivid portrait of the
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The Odd Women

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Overview

"The impoverished Madden sisters are ill-equipped to support themselves when their father dies, and Monica sees her only chance of escape from a life of grinding misery in marriage. When she is befriended by two independent women, who strive to educate single women to take control of their destinies, the choices that lie ahead for all of them are starkly defined." The Odd Women is a dramatic exploration of the dilemmas facing the single woman at the turn of the century. Set in grimy, fog-ridden London, the novel paints a vivid portrait of the hardships and inequalities in and outside marriage, and of a society whose values are in flux.
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Editorial Reviews

The Gissing Journal
"Broadview’s enterprise is especially welcome in the case of The Odd Women, Gissing’s second most commonly studied novel. [This edition] deserves to become the text of choice for teachers—especially given its modest price."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192833129
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Pages: 432
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

George Robert Gissing (1857-1903) was an English novelist who published twenty-three novels between 1880 and 1903. From his early naturalistic works, he developed into one of the most accomplished realists of the late-Victorian era. Gissing is given prominent space in Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. Gissing's conservatism was rooted in his aristocratic sensibility. After a brief flirtation with socialism in his youth, Gissing quickly lost faith in the labour movements and scorned the popular enthusiasms of his day. In 1892, he wrote to his sister Ellen, "I fear we shall live through great troubles yet...We cannot resist it, but I throw what weight I may have on the side of those who believe in an aristocracy of brains, as against the brute domination of the quarter-educated mob." In The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, Gissing reflected: "To think I once called myself a socialist, communist, anything you like of the revolutionary kind! Not for long, to be sure, and I suspect there was always something in me that scoffed when my lips uttered such things."
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

George Gissing: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

The Odd Women

Appendix A: Contemporary Reviews

1. Glasgow Herald 20 April 1893
2. Saturday Review 29 April 1893
3. Athenaeum 27 May 1893
4. Pall Mall Gazette 29 May 1893
5. Nation (New York) 13 July 1893
6. Illustrated London News (Clementia Black) 5 August 1893

Appendix B: Attitudes Towards Women and Marriage in Victorian Culture

1. Sarah Ellis, from The Daughters of England (1842)
2. Alfred Lord Tennyson, from The Princess (1847)
3. Coventry Patmore, from The Angel in the House: "The Rose of the World" (1854)
4. Thomas Henry Huxley, from "Emancipation—Black and White," Reader (1865)
5. John Ruskin, from "Of Queens' Gardens," in Sesame and Lilies (1865)
6. John Stuart Mill, from The Subjection of Women (1869)
7. Mona Caird, from "Marriage," Westminster Review (1888)

Appendix C: Debate over the "Woman Question"

1. Grant Allen, from "Plain Words on the Woman Question," The Fortnightly Review (1889)
2. Bernard Shaw, from "The Womanly Woman," The Quintessence of Ibsenism (1891)
3. Eliza Lynn Linton, from "The Wild Women: As Politicians," Nineteenth Century (1891)
4. Eliza Lynn Linton, from "The Wild Women: As Insurgents," Nineteenth Century (1891)
5. Mona Caird, "A Defense of the So-Called 'Wild Women'," Nineteenth Century (1891)
6. From "Character Note: The New Woman" Cornhill Magazine (1894)
7. Nat Arling, "What is the Role of the 'New Woman?'" Westminster Review (1898)

Appendix D: Women and Paid Employment

1. Charlotte Brontë, from Shirley (1849)
2. From "The Disputed Question," English Woman's Journal (1858)
3. Evelyn March Phillips, from "The Working Lady in London," Fortnightly Review (1892)
4. Clara Collet, from "The Employment of Women," Report to the Royal Commission on Labour (1893)
5. Frances H. Low, from "How Poor Ladies Live," Nineteenth Century (1897)
6. Eliza Orme, from "How Poor Ladies Live: A Reply," Nineteenth Century (1897)

Appendix E: Conditions of Work for Men in the White-Collar Sector

1. James Fitzjames Stephen, from "Gentlemen" Cornhill Magazine (1862)
2. B.O. Orchard, from The Clerks of Liverpool (1871)
3. Charles Edward Parsons, from Clerks: their position and advancement (1876)
4. Thomas Sutherst, from Death and Disease Behind the Counter (1884)
5. H.G. Wells, from Kipps (1905)
6. H.G. Wells, from Experiment in Autobiography (1934)

Appendix F: Map of London (1892)

Select Bibliography

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