Criminals, Idiots, Women, & Minors, Second Edition: Victorian Writing By Women On Women
Broadview Press, 2004 - History - 272 pages
"Pardon me; I must seem to you so stupid! Why is the property of the woman who commits Murder, and the property of the woman who commits Matrimony, dealt with alike by your law?" So ends the "little allegory" in conversational form with which Frances Power Cobbe opens the 1868 essay that gives this collection its title. Cobbe was a widely read essayist of remarkable lucidity and power; her pieces display incisive wit and remarkable focus as she returns repeatedly to "the woman question," but it was typical of the time that when Cobbe died she was described in the Wellesley Index to Victorian periodicals as a "miscellaneous writer." Cobbe was not alone; as much as 15 per cent of the essays in Victorian periodicals were written by women, yet even the best of these pieces were allowed by the male-dominated world of scholarship to disappear from print. This anthology makes available again some of the best Victorian writing by women. The second edition has been revised and updated; additions include a chronology and an essay by Frances Power Cobbe on the education of women.
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