George Gissing and the Woman Question: Convention and Dissent, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

George Gissing and the Woman Question

Convention and Dissent, 1st Edition

By Christine Huguet

Edited by Simon J. James


232 pages

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pub: 2013-08-30
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Approaching its subject both contextually and comparatively, George Gissing and the Woman Question reads Gissing's novels, short stories and personal writings as a crux in European fiction's formulations of gender and sexuality. The collection places Gissing alongside nineteenth- and twentieth-century authors as diverse as Paul Bourget, Ella Hepworth Dixon, May Sinclair and Theodore Dreiser, theorizing the ways in which late-Victorian sexual difference is challenged, explored and performed in Gissing's work. In addition to analyzing the major novels, essays make a case for Gissing as a significant short story writer and address Gissing's own life and afterlife in ways that avoid biographical mimetics. The contributors also place Gissing's work in relation to discourses of subjectivity and intersubjectivity, identity, public space, class and labour, especially literary production. Increasingly viewed as a key chronicler of the late Victorian period's various redefinitions of sexual difference, Gissing is here recognized as a sincere, uncompromising chronicler of social change.


A Yankee Book Peddler US Core Title for 2013 A Baker & Taylor Literary Essentials Title ’A luminous, wide-ranging examination of the Victorian novelist George Gissing’s relation to various issues related to the conditions, concerns, and representation of women in late-Victorian Britain, George Gissing and the Woman Question has numerous strengths, among them a fresh and searching consideration of a number of lesser-known fictional works by Gissing. An indispensable collection for Gissing scholars and critics of nineteenth-century British fiction’. Richard A. Kaye, Hunter College/The Graduate Center, CUNY, USA, author of The Flirt's Tragedy: Desire without End in Victorian and Edwardian Fiction 'This collection of essays … in examining Gissing’s most important novels and a selection of his short fiction, begin[s] to produce a more holistic picture of the author’s portrayals of women and the woman question,� without attempting to diminish the complexity or to ignore the variety of those portrayals.' Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: George Gissing and the woman question, Simon J. James and Christine Huguet; Part I Gissing’s Complex Discourse of (New) Womanhood: Gissing and prostitution, David Grylls; Gissing and women in the 1890s: the conditions and consequences of narrative sympathy, Constance D. Harsh; Gissing’s failed new men: masculinity in The Odd Women, Tara MacDonald; Gissing’s Nell: her body and his text, Roger Milbrandt; At high pressure? The spinster and the costs of independence in Gissing’s short stories, 1894-1903, Emma Liggins; Domesticity and discipline in Gissing’s short fiction, Rosemary Jann; It’s ’ard on a feller: female violence and the culture of refinement in Gissing’s The Nether World, Anthony Patterson. Part II Gissing’s Voice: A Comparatist Assessment: ’What is more vulgar than the ideal of novelists?’: the metaliterary ghost in The Odd Women, Cristina Ceron; Rewriting the addict: Gissings’s challenge to fin-de-siècle representations of the female alcoholic in The Nether World, Debbie Harrison; Knowing shopgirls: Monica Madden and Gissing’s refusal, Adrienne Munich; Women of letters: from New Grub Street to The Story of a Modern Woman, Maria Teresa Chialant; The solipsistic heroine in 1897: George Gissing’s The Whirlpool and May Sinclair’s Audrey Craven, Diana Maltz; ’Intriguing plebians’ and hypergamous desire: Paul Bourget’s Le Disciple and Born in Exile, M.D. Allen; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Christine Huguet is a Senior Lecturer at Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3, France. She has edited volumes of essays on Gissing, George Moore and Charles Dickens. Simon J. James is Professor of Victorian Literature at the Department of English Studies, Durham University, UK. He is the author of Unsettled Accounts: Money and Narrative in the Novels of George Gissing.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature