Odd Women?

Odd Women? Spinsters, Lesbians and Widows in British Women's Fiction, 1850S-1930S

Hardback (31 Jul 2014) | English

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This genealogy of the 'odd woman' compares representations of spinsters, lesbians and widows in British women's fiction and auto/biography from the 1850s to the 1930s. Women outside heterosexual marriage in this period were seen as abnormal, superfluous, incomplete and threatening, yet were also hailed as 'women of the future'. Before 1850 odd women were marginalised, minor characters in British women's fiction, yet by the 1930s spinsters, lesbians and widows had become heroines. This book examines how women writers, including Charlotte Brontë, Elisabeth Gaskell, Ella Hepworth Dixon, May Sinclair, E. H. Young, Radclyffe Hall, Winifred Holtby and Virginia Woolf, challenged dominant perceptions of singleness and lesbianism in their novels, stories and autobiographies. Drawing on advice literature, medical texts and feminist polemic, it demonstrates how these narratives responded to contemporary political controversies around the vote, women's work, sexual inversion and birth control, as well as examining the impact of the First World War.

About the Publisher

Manchester University Press

Manchester University Press

Founded in 1904, MUP is the third largest University Press in England and publishes monographs and textbooks by authors from all over the world. Currently publishing 145 new books a year and managing a portfolio of 14 journals as well as an extensive backlist of over 1000 titles, the Press sells more than 150,000 books each year to a global audience. The Press exports some 50 percent of output to more than 60 countries using representatives in Britain, Ireland and Europe and agents elsewhere including North America, Canada and Australia.

Book information

ISBN: 9780719087561
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Imprint: Manchester University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 820.9928709034
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: viii, 275
Weight: 484g
Height: 145mm
Width: 223mm
Spine width: 27mm