This article considers the role of men in a form of feminist expression promoted in women's magazines and novels during the Belle Epoque. “Belle Epoque literary feminism,“ as I have termed it, was characterized by a desire to reconcile gender equality with traditional gender roles, outside of political channels; it was also, I argue, defined by male participation. Focusing on a widespread effort to modernize marriage, the article examines both men and women's discussions of marital equality in the influential women's magazines Femina and La Vie Heureuse; it then considers the role assigned to men in realizing feminist marriage in two popular women's novels, Marcelle Tinayre's La Rebelle and Louise Marie Compain's L'Un vers l'autre.
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.
'New' Female Sexualities, 1870–1930
In her study of the relationship between sex, gender, and social change in Britain since 1880, Lesley Hall justifies her starting date by pointing out that ‘recent historians of the nineteenth century have perceived a definite change in sexual attitudes, and in ways of talking about and dealing with sexual issues, around 1880’. She suggests that this marks the beginnings of ‘certain ways of thinking about sex which are essentially “modern”’. This special edition, which focuses on readings of texts published from the 1870s to the late 1920s, examines these ‘modern’ ways of conceptualising sex in relation to the dangerous figure of the sexually active woman and to female sexuality in general. It takes its impetus from such recent developments in the historicizing of sexuality that have designated the fin de siècle and early twentieth century as particularly important for understanding the early formation of ‘new’ female sexual identities. At this time the new science of sexology, the development of psychoanalysis, the social purity movement, the rise of the New Woman and the proliferation of more sexually explicit texts all contributed to increased public debates about the nature of female sexuality. As Frank Mort has argued, this was a period when social purists and feminists increasingly felt compelled to ‘speak out about sex’ and ‘to confront the conspiracy of silence and shame which surrounded the subject’, a confrontation which also took place in New Woman fiction.
Sexual Fears and Fantasies in Writings by Old Men, 1880–1910
‘Being a man,’ Norman Mailer once wrote, ‘is the continuing battle of one ’s life … [One] can hardly ever assume [one] has become a man’. At the turn of the nineteenth century, it was the unbecoming (collapse) of (English) manhood which was foremost in the minds of many male writers. The growing sense of a masculine collective self in crisis can be placed in direct correlation with the advances of the British women’s movement and its destabilization of patriarchal hegemonies. This article examines the way in which, in their endeavour to exorcize the threat of female cultural and sociopolitical agency, anti-feminist male writers pressed New Woman fiction into service as a medium for conservative propaganda. I shall be considering two textual configurations of the turn-of-the-century masculinity complex and its articulations of dread and desire, dystopia and the male free-love plot. Sexual fantasies of women’s reconfinement within the boundaries of male desire, these texts served to defuse, depoliticize and (hetero)sexualize the political and moral/social purist agendas of feminist activists and writers by transforming the New Woman – the agent of feminist rebellion in women’s fiction – into a Sexy Angel in the House.
Gender, Sovereignty and Insecurity in Richard Marsh's The Beetle
On its publication in 1897 Richard Marsh’s The Beetle was more popular than Dracula. However, in the latter part of the twentieth century its popularity with both readers and critics waned, and it is only now that Marsh’s story of the Egyptian beetle-creature seeking vengeance on a British politician is attracting renewed critical interest. It is not my intention here to take serious issue with any of these important and revealing critical discussions, which variously explore the novel in terms of fears over ‘reverse colonisation’; depictions of the ‘abhumanness’ of the female body; and cultural debates on the nature and significance of trance-states. Rather, I wish to open up discussion of the novel by identifying some of the important and peculiar features of this – admittedly very peculiar – novel, that have not so far received the attention they deserve. These thus-far critically neglected features include: the significance of the opening chapters’ emphases upon vagrancy and destitution; the novel’s exploration of ‘political authority’ and its ambivalence towards its central male character, the liberal politician; and the representation of the New Woman. More specifically I wish to investigate the historical and ideological motivations for what I consider to be the novel’s conflation of its New Woman character with the figure of the emasculated and vagrant clerk.
Leora Auslander Marianne in the Market: Envisioning Consumer Society in Fin-de-Siècle France by Lisa Tiersten
Rebecca Rogers Disruptive Acts: The New Woman in Fin-de-Siècle France by Mary Louise Roberts
Jeffrey H. Jackson Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend by Michael Dregni
Jean-Philippe Mathy Camus & Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It by Ronald Aronson
Joel Revill The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism by Richard Wolin
Scott Gunther Liberté, égalité, sexualités: Actualité politique des questions sexuelles by Clarisse Fabre and Eric Fassin
Alec G. Hargreaves Muslims and the State in Britain, France and Germany by Joel S. Fetzer and J. Christopher Soper
The rapid expansion of international travel networks toward the end of the nineteenth century resulted in a dramatic shift in women’s access to travel. As Sidonie Smith highlights in Moving Lives, her comprehensive study of women and the technologies of travel in modernity, “large numbers of women began to leave home for the lure of the road as a result of the emergence of faster, safer, cleaner, and more comfortable machines of motion” (2001: xi). This shift in the availability of travel to a much broader spectrum of the general public—and crucially to women—coincided with the impact of first wave feminism as the women’s suffrage movement gathered momentum, 1 and the figure of the New Woman appeared across literature and culture. 2 The subsequent surge in women’s written representations of travel was highlighted by Sara Mills in her seminal Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women’s Travel Writing and Colonialism, in which she observed “the sheer volume of writing” by women on travel during this period (1991: 1), and asserted the importance of further research on these accounts. Following Mills’s call, feminist scholarship has since worked to understand the complexities of women’s travel writing. Like Mills, many of these critics—including Nupur Chaudhuri and Margaret Strobel (1992), and Mary Louise Pratt (1992)—explore the ways in which such travel accounts were involved in colonialism and implicated in the discourses of imperialism. Others, such as Smith (2001), Avril Maddrell (2009), and Alexandra Peat (2010), have focused particularly on women’s written representations of travel published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Central to much of this scholarship are questions concerning the difference between travel writing by men and that produced by women—whether or not such difference exists and, if it does, how this difference manifests in women’s written representations of travel. Susan Bassnett notes that these “basic questions … continue to occupy feminist scholars” (2002: 227), and indeed, they underpin many of the articles included in this special issue. However, the articles collected here in this special issue also move beyond these questions significantly in their consideration of the ways in which women’s written representations of travel can reshape our understandings of the gendered experience of the spaces of modernity, and thus make a vital contribution to both the cultural and literary history of the period.
women's portraits presented and analyzed in the book, and involves the ideologeme of the New Woman. The New Woman is highly educated, employed, and independent, or, simply put, the ideal of women's emancipation at that time. Of course, utilizations and
Christopher E. Forth
” only when describing the aims of the radical Right, gendered rebirth was clearly an aspiration across the political spectrum. The shared masculinism of interwar politics even made it possible for leftists to imagine the “new woman” in quasi
's contribution to the creation and distribution of ideas about Gallic singularity, I begin with a brief biography of Arvède Barine including her positioning in relation to feminism and the New Woman in her time. The second section presents Barine's writings on