1st Edition

Rose Macaulay, Gender, and Modernity

Edited By Kate Macdonald Copyright 2018
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book is the first collection on the British author Rose Macaulay (1881-1958). The essays establish connections in her work between modernism and the middlebrow, show Macaulay’s attentiveness to reformulating contemporary depictions of gender in her fiction, and explore how her writing transcended and celebrated the characteristics of genre, reflecting Macaulay’s responses to modernity. The book’s focus moves from the interiorized self and the psyche’s relations with the body, to gender identity, to the role of women in society, followed by how women, and Macaulay, use language in their strategies for generic self-expression, and the environment in which Macaulay herself and her characters lived and worked. Macaulay was a particularly modern writer, embracing technology enthusiastically, and the evidence of her treatment of gender and genre reflect Macaulay’s responses to modernism, the historical novel, ruins and the relationships of history and structure, ageing, and the narrative of travel. By presenting a wide range of approaches, this book shows how Macaulay’s fiction is integral to modern British literature, by its aesthetic concerns, its technical experimentation, her concern for the autonomy of the individual, and for the financial and professional independence of the modern woman. There are manifold connections shown between her writing and contemporary theology, popular culture, the newspaper industry, pacifist thinking, feminist rage, the literature of sophistication, the condition of ‘inclusionary’ cosmopolitanism, and a haunted post-war understanding of ruin in life and history. This rich and interdisciplinary combination will set a new agenda for international scholarship on Macaulay’s works, and reformulate contemporary ideas about gender and genre in twentieth-century British literature.



    1 Introduction, Kate Macdonald

    Part I: The Body and the Mind

    2 Hyperaesthesia and futile rage: Gender, anxiety and protest in Non-Combatants and Others, Jessica Gildersleeve

    3 The dangerous ages of Rose Macaulay, Cynthia Port

    Part II: Public and Private Gender Identity

    4 ‘Imprisoned in a cage of print’: Rose Macaulay, journalism and gender, Sarah Lonsdale

    5 ‘Mentally neutral’: An improbable tale of gender in Geneva, Juliane Römhild

    Part III: Women in Society

    6 "Thought is everything": Women’s work in Rose Macaulay’s First World War novels, Melissa Edmundson

    7 The domestic modern, the primitive and the middlebrow in Crewe Train, Ann Rea

    8 Constructing a public persona: Rose Macaulay’s non-fiction, Kate Macdonald

    Part IV: Genre in Language

    9 ‘Ghosts of words’: gendering history, language and pleasure in They Were Defeated (1932), Diana Wallace

    10 The Towers of Trebizond. Language and the joys and paradoxes of the modern world, Maria Stella Florio

    Part V: Landscapes in Genre

    11 A catastrophic imagination: Rose Macaulay and the cosmopolitan Pleasure of Ruins, Christina Svendsen

    12 Rose Macaulay’s ‘Turkey Book’: The Towers of Trebizond as ironic travelogue,

    Lisa Regan

    13 Annotated Bibliography of works by and about Rose Macaulay, Kate Macdonald

    Works Cited



    Kate Macdonald is Visiting Fellow in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading, UK.