Featuring sixteen contributions from recognized authorities in their respective fields, this superb new mapping of women's writing ranges from feminine middlebrow novels to Virginia Woolf's modernist aesthetics, from women's literary journalism to crime fiction, and from West End drama to the literature of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
This volume reshapes our understanding of British literary culture from 1945-1975 by exploring the richness and diversity of women’s writing of this period. Essays by leading scholars reveal the range and intensity of women writers’ engagement with post-war transformations including the founding of the Welfare State, the gradual liberalization of attitudes to gender and sexuality and the reconfiguration of Britain and the empire in the context of the Cold War. Attending closely to the politics of form, the sixteen essays range across ‘literary’, ‘middlebrow’ and ‘popular’ genres, including espionage thrillers and historical fiction, children’s literature and science fiction, as well as poetry, drama and journalism. They examine issues including realism and experimentalism, education, class and politics, the emergence of ‘second-wave’ feminism, responses to the Holocaust and mass migration and diaspora. The volume offers an exciting reassessment of women’s writing at a time of radical social change and rapid cultural expansion.
The ranks of English women writers rose steeply in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, contributing to the era’s revolutionary social movements as well as to transforming literary genres in prose and poetry. The phenomena of ‘the new’ — ‘New Women’, ‘New Unionism’, ‘New Imperialism’, ‘New Ethics’, ‘New Critics’, ‘New Journalism’, ‘New Man’ — are this moment’s touchstones. This book tracks the period's new social phenomena and unfolds its distinctively modern modes of writing. It provides expert introductions amid new insights into women’s writing throughout the United Kingdom and around the globe.
This volume charts the rise of professional women writers across diverse fields of intellectual enquiry and through different modes of writing in the period immediately before and during the reign of Queen Victoria. It demonstrates how, between 1830 and 1880, the woman writer became an agent of cultural formation and contestation, appealing to and enabling the growth of female readership while issuing a challenge to the authority of male writers and critics. Of especial importance were changing definitions of marriage, family and nation, of class, and of morality as well as new conceptions of sexuality and gender, and of sympathy and sensation. The result is a richly textured account of a radical and complex process of feminization whereby formal innovations in the different modes of writing by women became central to the aesthetic, social, and political formation of British culture and society in the nineteenth century.
During the seventeenth century, in response to political and social upheavals such as the English Civil Wars, women produced writings in both manuscript and print. This volume represents recent scholarship that has uncovered new texts as well as introduced new paradigms to further our understanding of women's literary history during this period.
This volume focuses on women's literary history in Britain between 700 and 1500. It brings to the fore a wide range of women's literary activity undertaken in Latin, Welsh and Anglo-Norman alongside that of the English vernacular, demanding a rethinking of the traditions of literary history, and ultimately the concept of 'writing' itself.
This book maps the most active and vibrant period in the history of British women's writing. Examining changes and continuities in fiction, poetry, drama, and journalism, as well as women's engagement with a range of literary and popular genres, the essays in this volume highlight the range and diversity of women's writing since 1970.
New perspectives on women's contributions to periodical culture in the era of modernismThis collection highlights the contributions of women writers, editors and critics to periodical culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It explores women's role in shaping conversations about modernism and modernity across varied aesthetic and ideological registers, and foregrounds how such participation was shaped by a wide range of periodical genres. The essays focus on well-known publications and introduce those as yet obscure and understudied - including middlebrow and popular magazines, movement-based, radical papers, avant-garde titles and classic Little Magazines. Examining neglected figures and shining new light on familiar ones, the collection enriches our understanding of the role women played in the print culture of this transformative period.Key FeaturesHelps recover neglected women writers and cast new light on canonical onesHighlights the geographical diversity of modern British print cultureEmphasises the interdisciplinary nature of modernism, including essays on modernist dance, music, cinema, drama and architecture Includes a section on social movement periodicals
This original study focusing on four Irish writers – Leslie Daiken, Charles Donnelly, Ewart Milne and Michael Sayers – retrieves a hitherto neglected episode of Thirties literary history which highlights the local and global aspects of Popular Front cultural movements. From interwar London to the Spanish Civil War and the USSR, the book examines the lives and work of Irish writers through their writings, their witness texts and their political activism. The relationships of these writers to George Orwell, Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Nancy Cunard, William Carlos Williams and other figures of cultural significance within the interwar period sheds new light on the internationalist aspects of a Leftist cultural history. The book also explores how Irish literary women on the Left defied marginalization. The impetus of the book is not merely to perform an act of literary salvage but to find new ways of re-imagining what might be said to constitute Irish literature mid-twentieth century; and to illustrate how Irish writers played a role in a transforming political moment of the twentieth century. It will be of interest to scholars and students of cultural history and literature, Irish diaspora studies, Jewish studies, and the social and literary history of the Thirties.
This volume contributes to the vibrant, ongoing recuperative work on women's writing by shedding new light on a group of authors commonly dismissed as middlebrow in their concerns and conservative in their styles and politics. The neologism 'interfeminism' - coined to partner Kristin Bluemel's 'intermodernism' - locates this group chronologically and ideologically between two 'waves' of feminism, whilst also forging connections between the political and cultural monoliths that have traditionally overshadowed them. Drawing attention to the strengths of this 'out-of-category' writing in its own right, this volume also highlights how intersecting discourses of gender, class and society in the interwar and post-war periods pave the way for the bold reassessments of female subjectivity that characterise second and third wave feminism. The essays showcase the stylistic, cultural and political vitality of a substantial group of women authors of fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and journalism including Vera Brittain, Storm Jameson, Nancy Mitford, Phyllis Shand Allfrey, Rumer Godden, Attia Hosain, Doris Lessing, Kamala Markandaya, Susan Ertz, Marghanita Laski, Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Pargeter, Eileen Bigland, Nancy Spain, Vera Laughton Matthews, Pamela Hansford Johnson, Dorothy Whipple, Elizabeth Taylor, Daphne du Maurier, Barbara Comyns, Shelagh Delaney, Stevie Smith and Penelope Mortimer. Additional exploration of the popular magazines Woman's Weekly and Good Housekeeping and new material from the Vera Brittain archive add an innovative dimension to original readings of the literature of a transformative period of British social and cultural history.
The figure of the wartime child in the mid-twentieth century unsettles and disturbs. This book employs a range of material – biographical, literary and historical – to chart some of the surprising and unanticipated crossovers between women’s writing and early psychoanalysis in the years of the Second World War and the decades before and after. This volume includes examples of children’s adventure fiction, as well as works written for adult audiences and important and previously unrecognized similarities are noted. The war was a disruptive influence in the lives of all who lived through it. Although active self-censorship is observed in the behaviour and attitudes of adults at this time, this book demonstrates how fictional children are able to articulate feelings such as anxiety and fear that adults were under pressure to conceal or to repress and at times, the figure of the wartime child becomes a surrogate for the writer herself or her suppressed fears and anxiety. When peace returned, this study finds women writers quick to identify and communicate a discomfiting new ambivalence between parents and children.