Novelist Figes ( Waking ) trains her attention on the years 1790-1850, during which women "took over the novel in England, gave it a new shape, structure and unity of intention." She notes that never before had women of the upper classes been so well educated, and that 25% of these women never married. Their frustration found expression in the writing of novels, one of the few socially sanctioned labors. Their fictional heroines were identically constrained: Figes undertakes the examination of women novelists' attempts to liberate their protagonists. Her discussion of the gothic novel, for example, posits that "fantasy not only gave scope to the imagination, but made it possible for a heroine to act on her own initiative, to show positive rather than negative virtues." While not scholarly in her tone or her technique, Figes does presuppose a familiarity with the literature of the timei.e., the works of Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, the Bronte sisters. Her otherwise intelligent readings are hampered by abrupt, even superficial conclusions.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Well written and well documented, this critical work can take its place with those of Ellen Moers, Sandra Gilbert, and Susan Gubar. Figes supports the premise that, through writing, the women writers who influenced the direction of the English novel turned their social, economic, and political disadvantages to significant advantage. She examines the techniques and contributions of both major and minor writers, starting with Fanny Burney and concluding with The Brontes and Elizabeth Gaskell. Figes's careful explanations, solid documentation, and readable style make this a book of criticism that public and particularly academic libraries will want. Elizabeth Guiney Sandvick, North Hennepin Community Coll., Minneapolis
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR003973525
Book Description Pandora, 1982. Paper Back. Book Condition: Good. A very good, clean reading copy with only limited wera. Bookseller Inventory # 3009033
Book Description Pandora, London, 1982. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Good. 178 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 008182
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