The "Improper" Feminine: The Women's Sensation Novel and the New Woman Writing


The women's sensation novel of the 1860s and the New Woman fiction of the 1890s were two major examples of a perceived feminine invasion of fiction which caused a critical furore in their day.Both genres, with their shocking, 'fast' heroines, fired the popular imagination by putting female sexuality on the literary agenda and undermining the 'proper feminine' ideal to which nineteenth-century women and fictional heroines were supposed to aspire.By exploring in impressive depth and breadth the material and discursive conditions in which these novels were produced, The 'Improper' Feminine draws attention to key gendered interrelationships within the literary and wider cultures of the mid-Victorian and fin-de-diegrave;cle periods.


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