Feminist readings of Victorian popular texts: divergent femininities
The essays in this collection examine the apparent endorsement and subversion of class and gender norms in Victorian popular fiction, poetry, periodicals and modes of theatrical entertainment. Topics covered include: sensation fiction, ghost stories, working-class women's poetry, women's annuals, girls' magazines, stage melodrama and stage comedy. The contributors consider texts and markets in the context of socially and politically diverse consumer demands, paying particular attention to the cross-class nature of readerships and audiences. A substantial introduction provides a survey of nineteenth and twentieth-century responses to popular texts and theories of popular culture, and offers guidelines for studying popular writing.One of the purposes of this book is to contribute to continuing debates about forgotten women writers, representations of women, and female influence on the market-place. It draws on recent work on the woman reader of nineteenth-century popular fiction and magazines and her possible identifications with a range of female characters. It also uses late-twentieth-century research into the reception practices of female consumers of romance fiction and screen melodrama to illuminate the extant evidence relating to Victorian reading and spectating. Thus the volume looks at Victorian popular texts in the context of a wider range of discourses on femininity, such as conduct books, feminist and anti-feminist critiques, review articles and sociological material.
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Scandalous Women and the
Text Identity and the WorkingClass
The Girls Own Paper and its Readers
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