Gender, Religion and Domesticity in the Novels of Rosa Nouchette Carey
This title was first published in 2000. Rosa Nouchette Carey (1840-1909), the English author of forty-one ’domestic’ novels, was continuously in print from 1868 until at least 1924 and yet she is virtually unknown today. This first in-depth study of Carey’s work assesses both her immense popularity and her subsequent fall from favour. Organized thematically, it engages with the historical and cultural context of the novels as well as comparing them with the work of Carey’s contemporaries. Matters such as Carey’s creative response towards spinsterhood, her provision of vicarious male approval and her valorization of housework are perceived as functions of her writing that lie beyond formal literary criticism. This is not to deny the literary value of Carey’s work; rather it is to make intelligible its value to a large and enthusiastic readership despite an undoubted lack of appreciation on the part of reviewers.