Women Writers and the Dark Side of Late-Victorian Hellenism

Women Writers and the Dark Side of Late-Victorian Hellenism

by T. Olverson

Paperback(1st ed. 2010)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781349303427
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 11/19/2009
Edition description: 1st ed. 2010
Pages: 237
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

T.D.OLVERSONis a researcher in nineteenth-century literature and culture, and author of essays on women's travel writing, Victorian poetry and nineteenth-century children's literature.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction: Contested Ground: Gender and Victorian Hellenism(s) 1

The demos and the classics 6

The shining light of Greek culture 8

The 'trick of Greek': women's access to the classics 10

Daughters of Dionysus 18

1 Taking on the Tradition: Augusta Webster's Feminist Revisionism 27

Of maidens, magic and murder: Webster's 'Circe' and 'Medea in Athens' 32

'Am I no happy wife?': Webster's 'Medea in Athens' 33

Her own mistress: Webster's 'Circe' 45

2 Amy Levy's Greek (Anti-) Heroines 54

'Her tender language wholly misconceived': Amy Levy's Xantippe 57

Hellenism and anarchy: Levy's Medea 69

3 Worlds without Women: Emily Pfeiffer's Political Hellenism 83

Emily Pfeiffer's 'Studies from the Antique' 85

Making silence speak: Kassandra's burning words 91

'Power to wreak high ruin': female militancy and Pfeiffer's 'Klyteninestra' 100

4 Old Greek Wine in New Bottles: Michael Field's Dionysiac Poetics 111

Michael Field's erotic poetics 116

The miss-education of Michael Field 118

Libidinous laureates and lyrical Maenads: Michael Field, Swinburne and the sexual politics of erotic Hellenism 123

'I am a maenad, I must have love's wine': Michael Field's Callirrhoë 127

5 Medea's Haunting of the Fin-de-Siècle 145

The spirit of rebellion: Mona Caird's Daughters of Danaus 148

Medea's afterlife in Vernon Lee's 'Amour Dure' 157

Afterword: Looking Back With an Eye to the Future 171

Notes 175

Bibliography 206

Index 231

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