Pub. Date:
New York University Press
Fixing Patriarchy: Feminism and Mid-Victorian Male Novelists

Fixing Patriarchy: Feminism and Mid-Victorian Male Novelists

by Donald E. Hall, Joan Helmich


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The 1840s, 50s, and 60s: three decades during which the British feminist movement saw some of its most intense activity of the nineteenth-century, and readers find some of the most monstrous, troubling representations of women by male writers in all of literary history. In Fixing Patriarchy, Donald E. Hall suggests that feminism at mid-century posed intertwined social, economic, political and psychological threats to patriarchy. Hall explores the metamorphic nature of Victorian definitions of masculinity and femininity through an analysis of male authors such as Dickens, Tennyson, Kingsley, Thackeray, Hughes, Collins, and Trollope in dialogue with Victorian feminists and other women writers.

Synthesizing historical research with pertinent queer, feminist, post-structuralist, and materialist theories, Hall locates both startling admissions of moral fallibility and violent strategies of retrenchment and containment of this perceived threat to the male social body. Fixing Patriarchytraces parallels among Victorian discourses of religion, science, economics, and aesthetics, as it explores a cultural dynamic of un-fixedness and heightened desires for fixity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814735367
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 11/01/1996
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Donald E. Hall is Jackson Family Distinguished Chair in the Department of English at West Virginia University and the author of Fixing Patriarchy: Feminism and Mid-Victorian Male Novelists , also from NYU Press.

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From the Publisher

"Superbly integrates sophisticated theories of gender with incisive readings of Victorian novels. . . . Donald E. Hall's commitment to challenging established ideas about sexuality and gender—both in the way we read Victorian literature and understand our own culture—makes for a sharply intelligent book."

-Deirdre David,author of Rule Britannia: Women, Empire, and Victorian Writing

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