Readers and mistresses

Kept women in Victorian literature

By Katie R. Peel

Readers and mistresses
Hardcover -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526176479
  • Publish Date: Sep 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    Readers and Mistresses: Kept Women in Victorian Literature identifies kept mistresses in British Victorian narrative and offers ways to understand their experiences. The author discusses kept women characters in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton and Ruth, Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, and examines the methods their authors use to encourage reader empathy. This book also usefully demonstrates how to identify kept women when they are less visible in texts, including in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Dickens' Hard Times and Dombey and Son, and George Gissing's The Odd Women.


    Introduction: '"I am my own mistress"': Kept women in Victorian literature
    1 Old, particular, fallen, mustachioed, and queer: Other kept women
    2 The women who did (and the men who did not)
    3 Wives and mistresses in Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
    4 Marian Evans' story: The kept woman in Daniel Deronda
    5 Near mis(tres)ses: Narrative potential v. dead ends
    Conclusion: 'Conventionality is not morality'


    Katie R. Peel is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Readers and mistresses

    By Katie R. Peel

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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