Women and Domestic Experience in Victorian Political Fiction

Women and Domestic Experience in Victorian Political Fiction

Women and Domestic Experience in Victorian Political Fiction

Women and Domestic Experience in Victorian Political Fiction

Synopsis

Studies how Victorian political fiction constructed women as rights-bearers who, through a combination of emotion and intellect, generally displayed their political status in the domestic sphere.

Excerpt

Some debts can never be paid, although I will try here to meet the interest. The questions that inform this study were first formulated in the early 1990s, at McGill University; I am indebted to the McGill Alma Mater Society, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Principal's Dissertation Fellowship for affording me the time to begin investigating those questions. The work was completed during my tenure as Visiting Assistant Professor at Concordia University in 1999–2000; a thousand thanks to Dean of Arts Martin Singer and to David Sheps and Terry Byrnes of the Department of English at Concordia University, who so welcomed me. It is also a pleasure to thank the librarians and staff of McLennan Library at McGill, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, who were generous with time and suggestions.

Greater even than these debts, however, are those to the friends and colleagues who showed me what an academic community can and should be: Brian Trehearne, Mette Hjort, Leanore Lieblein, Maggie Kilgour (who taught me teaching), and Kerry McSweeney; William James Booth discussed this project with me at a critical time, and it would not be what it is without both his generosity and his seminal work; my colleagues Bill Howard, Martin Bergbusch, Nick Ruddick, Cameron Louis, Margaret Wigmore, Dean Knuttila, and Jeanne Shami, especially, at the University of Regina, for manning the barricades in an academy under seige: if this project is the past, I nonetheless look forward to building a freer, juster future with all of you; Nicola Nixon, Frederick C. DeCoste, Sally Mitchell, Marc Cooper, Stephen Ahern, Jessica Slights, Adam Müller, Catherine Graham, and Carla Norman all asked smart questions and I have tried to answer some of them here; my research assistants, Cornelia Ratt, Jennifer Woodard and Chiraz Agrebi — what is clean, clear, true, or just in this I owe to all of you. Christine van Moorsel and, again, Nicola Nixon, made it happen, as did Dr. George F. Butler and Bobbie Goettler of Greenwood Publishing Group.

The hardest to thank is Michael D. Bristol: Where do I begin? If I am a scholar . . .

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