Family as Social Construct in the Victorian Novel
Bujor (Pintilii), Alina
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A new direction in literary-critical enquiry has relatively recently emerged as a result of the growing interest in women’s history. The works of an increasing number of forgotten and/or neglected Victorian female writers are now explored, being reread with modern eyes and reassessed from a more impartial standpoint obtained by the passage of about a century since they were last printed. Many of these nineteenth-century women novelists were popular during their lifetime, but their writings ceased to attract readers by the fin de siècle, when, due to the fundamental changes in world view and in the novel, they were judged as old-fashioned and therefore doomed to oblivion. On the other hand, although many Victorian women writers enjoyed a wide readership during their literary careers, few of them received a positive reception from contemporary mainstream critics, who generally regarded ‘feminine’ novels or ‘domestic’ fiction as “inferior and trivial” (Crisp, Ferres and Swanson 2000: 98). Moreover, minor nineteenth-century women writers have lately been frequently marginalised by the literary academic institution, because of the latter’s traditional concentration on canonical literature, and because of a number of scholars who have dismissed their works too quickly on various grounds. Nonetheless, many present-day scholars engage in the process of recovering the writings of forgotten female authors by refuting the arguments which caused their neglect, by proving the inappropriateness of certain criteria according to which they were discredited and/or by demonstrating that they may be of interest to the twenty-first-century audience for the very characteristics due to which these writings lost their readership.
- Teze de doctorat