Much attention has recently been given by scholars to the widening of the gender gap in the nineteenth century and the concept of separate spheres. Testing such constructions, and questioning the stereotypes associated with Victorian domesticity, Monica F. Cohen offers new readings of narratives by Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Eliot, Eden, Gaskell, Oliphant and Reade to show how domestic work, the most feminine of all activities, gained much of its social credibility by positioning itself in relation to the emergent professions. By exploring how novels cast the Victorian conception of female morality into the vocabulary of nineteenth-century professionalism, Cohen traces the ways in which women sought identity and privilege within a professionalised culture, and revises our understanding of Victorian domestic ideology.
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(228mm x 152mm x 13mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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