The Rise and Fall of the Femme Fatale in British Literature, 1790-1910
The Rise and Fall of the Femme Fatale in British Literature, 1790–1910 explores the femme fatale's career in nineteenth-century British literature. It traces her evolution—and devolution—formally, historically, and ideologically through a selection of plays, poems, novels, and personal correspondence. Considering well-known fatal women alongside more obscure ones, The Rise and Fall of the Femme Fatale sheds new light on emerging notions of gender, sexuality, and power throughout the long nineteenth century. By placing the fatal woman in a still developing literary and cultural narrative, this study examines how the femme fatale adapts over time, reflecting popular tastes and socio-economic landscapes.
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Literary Form and the NineteenthCentury Femme Fatale
1 Gothic Ballads and the Supernatural Femme Fatale
2 The Realist Novel and the Romanticized Femme Fatale
The Erotic Femme Fatale
4 Decadence SelfAwareness and the Decline of the Femme Fatale
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allure ambiguous Ambrosio Amelia androgynous Anodos Armadale Audley’s Baillie ballad beauty Becky Becky’s become Belle Dame Braddon Carmilla century Christabel Coleridge Coleridge’s Collins courtly love cultural dangerous Decadent depictions describes desire Dickens disruptive domestic Dracula Eliot’s erotic Estella exotic Fancy’s Following fatal woman fatale’s female characters feminine femme fatale fiction figure fin de siècle gender genre Geraldine Gothic ballads Gothic heroine Gothic novels Hardy Hardy’s hero heroine ideals Jocelyn Jokanaan Keats Keats’s knight Lady Audley Lamia landscape Lewis’s male characters Mary Mary Coleridge masculine Matilda Mirror Miss Gwilt Monk mysterious mystique narrative narrator Neoplatonic nineteenth-century Pip’s plot poem poem’s poetic poetry popular quest readers realist novels remains reveals role romantic Salomé Scott’s seductive sensation novel sensual sexual social speaker Stoker supernatural Swinburne Swinburne’s Thackeray Thackeray’s threat tion vampire tale Vanity Fair Veil victim Victorian vision wandering Well-Beloved White Lady Wilde Wilde’s Witch women writers