By Elaine Showalter
When first released in 1977, A Literature in their Own fast set the level for the inventive explosion of feminist literary stories that remodeled the sector within the Nineteen Eighties. Launching a big new region for literary research, the publication exposed the lengthy yet missed culture of girls writers in England. A vintage of feminist feedback, its effect remains to be felt today.
This revised and extended variation encompasses a new introductory bankruptcy surveying the book's reception and a brand new postscript bankruptcy celebrating the legacy of feminism and feminist feedback within the efflorescence of up to date British fiction through women.
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Additional resources for A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing
54 It does sometimes seem as if feminine writers are metaphorically paralyzed, as Alice James was literally paralyzed, by refinement and restraint, but the repression in which the feminine novel was situated also forced women to find innovative and co51 "The False Morality of Lady Novelists," National Review vn, (1859): 14952 "Puseyite Novels," vi (1850): 498. 53 "The Lady Novelists," 132. 54 "Cassandra," in The Cause, ed. , 1969, p! 398. 27 THE FEMALE TRADITION vert ways to dramati/e the inner life, and led to a fiction that was intense, compact, symbolic, and profound.
About 20 percent of the women writers he studied had been given some formal schooling, as opposed to being taught at home, and this figure remained constant throughout the entire century. After 1870, a few women had gone on to some kind of advanced study. Not until the period 1900-1935 did a university-educated group of women enter the profession, and even then they constituted only 38 percent of the female group. The percentage of women educated at home and school nearly equalled the percentage of men educated at universities.
Lawrence, the female aestheticists saw the world as mystically and totally polarized by sex. For them, female sensibility took on a sacred quality, and its exercise became a holy, exhausting, and ultimately self33 THE FEMALE TRADITION destructive rite, since woman's receptivity led inevitably to suicidal vulnerability. Paradoxically, the more female this literature became in the formal and theoretical sense, the farther it moved from exploring the physical experience of women. Sexuality hovers on the fringes of the aestheticists' novels and stories, disguised, veiled, and denied.
A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing by Elaine Showalter