Sisters in Time: Imagining Gender in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

bySusan Morgan

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Asking why the 19th-century British novel features heroines, and how and why it features "feminine heroism," Susan Morgan traces the relationship between fictional depictions of gender and Victorian ideas of history and progress. Morgan approaches gender in selected 19th-century Britishnovels as an imaginative category, accessible to authors and characters of either sex. Arguing that conventional definitions of heroism offer a fixed and history-denying perspective on life, the book traces a literary tradition that represents social progress as a process of feminization. Thecapacities for flexibility, mercy, and self-doubt, conventionally devalued as feminine, can make it possible for characters to enter history. She shows that Austen and Scott offer revolutionary definitions of feminine heroism, and the tradition is elaborated and transformed by Gaskell, Eliot,Meredith, and James (partly through one of his last "heroines," the aging hero of The Ambassadors.) Throughout the study, Morgan considers how gender functions both in individual novels and more extensively as a means of tracing larger patterns and interests, especially those concerned with theredemptive possibilities of a temporal and historical perspective.

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Asking why the 19th-century British novel features heroines, and how and why it features "feminine heroism," Susan Morgan traces the relationship between fictional depictions of gender and Victorian ideas of history and progress. Morgan approaches gender in selected 19th-century Britishnovels as an imaginative category, accessible to ...

Susan Morgan is at Miami College.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.75 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195058224

ISBN - 13:9780195058222

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"...make[s] strong contributions to studies of geneder and the nineteenth century novel."--Novel