Virtuous Victim or Sexual Predator?: The Representation of the Widow in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century German Fiction by Abigail DunnVirtuous Victim or Sexual Predator?: The Representation of the Widow in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century German Fiction by Abigail Dunn

Virtuous Victim or Sexual Predator?: The Representation of the Widow in Nineteenth- and Early…

byAbigail Dunn

Paperback | July 18, 2013

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‘Was ist eine Witwe mehr als … ein aufgewärmtes Essen?’
According to politician and statesman Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel (1741-1796), widows were superfluous beings and second-hand goods, but they were also perceived by theologians and moralists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a threat due to their sexual experience and supposedly ungovernable lust.
This book analyses the overwhelmingly negative portrayal of the widow in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German fiction. Male writers in the works discussed repeat the theory that, once deprived of their husbands, widows become sexually voracious. Indeed, the widow is often presented as a dangerous sexual predator who is prone to violence. Female authors, however, highlight the invisibility of the widow and portray her as a figure alienated from society and her family because she has internalized the ideas propounded by Hippel. The widow is depicted throughout as a figure to be at best re-educated and at worst to be feared and guarded against.
Abigail Dunn currently teaches English Language at the University of Bonn. She obtained a D.Phil in German from the University of Oxford in 2009.
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Title:Virtuous Victim or Sexual Predator?: The Representation of the Widow in Nineteenth- and Early…Format:PaperbackDimensions:8.86 × 5.91 × 0.68 inPublished:July 18, 2013Publisher:Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der WissenschaftenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3034307764

ISBN - 13:9783034307765

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Table of Contents

Contents: Widowhood in nineteenth-century Germany: Legal and social realities – Popular perceptions of widows – Representations of the faithless widow throughout German literature – The widow as a death-bringer – The incestuous widow – The virtuous widow – Women’s representations of widowhood.