Woman Reader, 1837-1914

Overview


This book is an original and fascinating look at the topos of the woman reader and its functioning in cultural debate between the accession of Queen Victoria and the First World War. The issue of women and reading--what they should read; what they should be protected from; how, what, and when they should read--was the focus of lively discussion in the nineteenth century in a wide range of media. Flint uses recent feminist analyses of how women read as a context for her detailed and readable study of these ...
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Overview


This book is an original and fascinating look at the topos of the woman reader and its functioning in cultural debate between the accession of Queen Victoria and the First World War. The issue of women and reading--what they should read; what they should be protected from; how, what, and when they should read--was the focus of lively discussion in the nineteenth century in a wide range of media. Flint uses recent feminist analyses of how women read as a context for her detailed and readable study of these debates, exploring in a variety of texts--from magazines like Woman's World and My Lady's Novelette to works of literature like Jane Eyre and The Portrait of a Lady--the range of stereotypes and directives addressed to women readers, and their influence on the writing of fiction. She also looks at how women readers of all classes understood their own reading experiences.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The firm historical perspective combined with vivid, bristling detail makes The Woman Reader valuable as well as interesting....The range of sources is staggering....Utterly engrossing, not only as history but as a clue to categories of 'woman reader' today."--The Independent

"Flint's book is of incalculable value. She is excellent at summarizing what Victorian and twentieth-century critics and theorists have assumed about women readers; summarizing what we can actually deduce on the basis of the evidence available; and then pointing to the discrepancies."--Victorian Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198117193
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/2/1993
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 Introduction 3
2 Theory and Women's Reading 17
3 Victorian and Edwardian Reading 47
4 Medical, Physiological, and Psychoanalytic Theory 53
5 Advice Manuals, Informative Works, and Instructional Articles 71
6 Reading at School 118
7 Reading in the Periodical Press 137
8 Reading Practices 187
9 Fictional Reading 253
10 Sensation Fiction 274
11 'New Woman' Fiction 294
12 Conclusion 321
Bibliography 331
Index 353
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