Daughters Of Decadence: Women Writers Of The Fin-De-Siecle

Daughters Of Decadence: Women Writers Of The Fin-De-Siecle

Elaine Showalter

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0813520185

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

 At the turn of the century, short stories by--and often about--"New Women" flooded the pages English and American magazines such as the Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, and the Yellow Book. This daring new fiction, often innovative in form and courageous in its candid representations of female sexuality, marital discontent, and feminist protest, shocked Victorian critics, who denounced the authors as "literary degenerates" or "erotomaniacs." This collection brings together twenty of the most original and important stories from this period. The writers included in this highly readable volume are Kate Chopin, Victoria Cross, George Egerton, Julia Constance Fletcher, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sarah Grand, Vernon Lee, Ada Leverson, Charlotte Mew, Olive Schreiner, Edith Wharton, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Mabel E. Wotton. As Elaine Showalter shows in her introduction, the short fiction of the Fin-de-Siecle is the missing link between the Golden Age of Victorian women writers and the new era of feminist modernism. Elaine Showalter is a professor of English at Princeton University. She is the author of A Literature of Their Own, The Female Malady, and other books, and editor of Alternative Alcott, a volume in the American Women Writers Series 

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and stepped from the carriage, were noted and watched by our four critical eyes. 'A typical product of our nineteenth-century civilisation,' I said, with a faint smile, as Theodora let her fur-edged skirt draw over the snowy pavement, and we heard her clear cultivated tones, with the fashionable drag in them, ordering the coachman not to let the horses get cold. `But she's a splendid sort of creature, don't you think?' asked Digby. 'Happy the man who - eh?' I nodded. `Yes,' I assented. 'But

others. No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long. There comes John, and I must put this away, - he hates to have me write a word. We have been here two weeks, and I haven't felt like writing before, since that first day. I am sitting by the window now, up in this atrocious nursery, and there is nothing to hinder my writing as much as I please, save lack of strength. John is away all day, and even some nights when his cases are serious. I am

Well, the Fourth of July is over! The people are all gone and I am tired out. John thought it might do me good to see a little company, so we just had Mother and Nellie and the children down for a week. Of course I didn't do a thing. Jennie sees to everything now. But it tired me all the same. John says if I don't pick up faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall. But I don't want to go there at all. I had a friend who was in his hands once, and she says he is just like John and my

I thought; 'and so she is. I positively believe she has brought all this trouble upon me: she has the evil eye.' I took out the manuscript and looked at it. It was in the form of a little volume, and clearly written; on the cover was the word 'Armor' in German text, and, underneath, a pen-and-ink sketch of a helmet, breastplate, and shield. `Grief certainly needs armor,' I said to myself, sitting down by the table and turning over the pages. 'I may as well look over the thing now; I could not be

that I felt as if I ought to go down on my knees before her, and entreat her to take her proper place of supremacy at once. But there! one does not go down on one's knees, combustively, as it were, before a woman over fifty, plain in feature, thin, dejected, and ill dressed. I contented myself with taking her hands (in their miserable old gloves) in mine, while I said cordially, `Miss Crief, your drama seems to me full of original power. It has roused my enthusiasm: I sat up half the night

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