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'A pot of ink that she would come to hate the smell of'

Banishing the Beast in Jerome K. Jerome's New Woman Journalists

Carolyn W. de la L. Oulton

Jerome K. Jerome was the founder and editor of the weekly periodical Today, begun shortly before the media showdown between Sarah Grand and Ouida made the New Woman one of the most demonised constructions of the mid 1890s. In a series of editorials and commissioned articles between 1894 and 1897 the journal explores the range of meanings starting to accrue around this figure. Unlike some of his contributors Jerome notably attacks both the New Woman herself and the reactionary male attitudes he sees as partly responsible for her rebellion. In his later fiction Jerome continues to explore the problem of gender relations. In Tommy & Co. (1904) the eponymous protagonist is (somewhat unconvincingly) unable to tell as a child whether she is male or female. In one of his last novels, All Roads Lead to Calvary (1919), the recent war has further problematised the question of women's proper role.

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Michelle Brock, Elizabeth Chapman Hoult, Ágnes Gulyás, Andrew King, Deborah Mutch, Carolyn de la L. Oulton and Astrid Stilma

Notes on contributors