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The Odd Women
     

The Odd Women

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by George Gissing
 

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Five odd women - women without husbands - are the subject of this powerful novel, set in Victorian London, by a writer whose perceptions about people, particularly women, would be remarkable in any age and are extraordinary in the 1890s. The story concerns the choices that five different women have to make and what those choices imply about men's and women's status

Overview

Five odd women - women without husbands - are the subject of this powerful novel, set in Victorian London, by a writer whose perceptions about people, particularly women, would be remarkable in any age and are extraordinary in the 1890s. The story concerns the choices that five different women have to make and what those choices imply about men's and women's status in society and relationship to each other.

Alice and Virginia Madden, suddenly left adrift by the death of their improvident father, must take grinding and humiliating "genteel" work. Terrified of sharing their fate, their younger sister Monica accepts a proposal of marriage from a man who gives her financial security but makes her life wretched.

Interwoven with their fortunes are Mary Barfoot and Rhoda Nunn, who are dedicating their lives to training young women in skills they can use to support themselves. Their broader aim is to help free both sexes from whatever distorts or depletes their humanity - including, if necessary, marriage. Into their lives comes Mary's engaging and forceful cousin Everard Barfoot, and as he and Rhoda become locked in an increasingly significant and passionate struggle, Rhoda finds out through the refining fire what "love" sometimes means and what it means to be true to herself.

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."

Product Details

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

Meet the Author

Elaine Showalter is the author of the groundbreaking A Literature of Their Own and editor of Little Women for Penguin Classics.

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The Odd Women 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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