This anthology contextualizes key feminist texts and ideas by linking them with the transformation of public opinion brought about by the late Victorian debate on marriage, motherhood and women's right to an independent life.
Included are Mona Caird's controversial The Morality of Marriage; debates between feminists, traditionalists and anti-feminists on marriage, divorce and the New Woman, and selected reading from New Woman fiction, both feminist and anti-feminist, which reproduces the media debate on morality in literature.
'Ann Heilmann's five volume collection of late nineteenth-century primary texts is a labour of love, and will be indispensable for researchers in this area; more than its title suggests, it is an emporium of materials central to Victorian culture, literature and social and sexual politics.' - Journal of Victorian Culture
'Indispensable for libraries, it is a vital resource for students and scholars of late nineteenth-century social and literary history, opening up new and exciting directions for research, and allowing New Women to speak, after a long silence, in audible and unmediated voices.' - Journal of Victorian Culture
Volume 1. Marriage and Motherhood: Mona Caird's The Morality of Marriage  and the Contemporary Response Volume 2. The New Woman and Female Independence Volume 3. New Woman Fiction (1): Marriage, Motherhood and Work Volume 4. New Woman Fiction (2): Gender and Sexuality Volume 5. Literary Degenerates
The History of Feminism series aims to make key archival source material available to scholars, researchers, postgraduates and undergraduates working in the fields of women and gender studies, women's history and women's writing. Subject matter and texts are selected for their decisive contribution to the feminist history of ideas in an international context.
Sets are published in hardback format of between three to six volumes and include full-length documents, pamphlets, reviews, newspaper articles and debates, letters, and fiction. The first set, Sex, Social Purity and Sarah Grand (edited by Ann Heilmann and Stephanie Forward), is concerned with the most prominent British New Woman writer and her contemporary critical reception.