First published in 1995. The essays in this volume demonstrate how Victorian women took up various positions along a continuum that ranged from the desire of Shelley’s creature for the power and acceptance it associated with the house to the rejection of Brontë’s heroine of the immobility and powerlessness she ultimately experienced there. More specifically the essays in this volume explore the nature of the Victorian woman’s domestic relations by centring in one activity that most informed her place in what was often the father’s house: housekeeping. The essays in this edition determine how writers, especially novelists, both male and female, used housekeeping to construct, reconstruct, represent, and inscribe the female self and condition. This title will be of interest to students of history and literature.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction: Housekeeping and Housekept Angels Vanessa D. Dickerson; Part One: In My Father’s House; or, In Search of a Home of Her Own; 1. Housekeeping and Hegemony in Dickens’s ‘Bleak House’ Martin A. Danahay 2. Stitching Repentance, Sewing Rebellion: Seamstresses and Fallen Women in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Fiction Deborah Denenholz Morse 3. God’s House, Women’s Place Laura Fasick 4. Women Artists at Home Julia M. Gergits 5. Female Acquisition in ‘The Spoils of Poynton’ Sandra Kumamoto Stanley 6. Playing House: Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Victorian Fairy Tale Eileen Connell; Part Two: A Woman’s Work Is Never Done: Women’s Work and Domestic Space; 7. The Chatelaine: Women of the Victorian Landed Classes and the Country House Jessica Gerard 8. Decorating Domestic Space: Middle-Class Women and Victorian Interiors Thad Logan 9. "Ladies-Loaf Givers": Food, Women, and Society in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot Francis L. Fennell, Monica A. Fennell 10. Housework, Mill Work, Women’s Work: The Functions of Cloth in Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Shirley’ Maura Ives 11. Loss of the Domestic Idyll: Slop Workers in Victorian Fiction Lynn M. Alexander 12. Domestic Ironies: Housekeeping as Mankeeping in Conrad’s ‘The Secret Agent’ Brian W. Shaffer; Select Bibliography; Contributors; Index