Warrior queens and women’s history: deconstructing stereotypes in Margaret Drabble’s A Natural Curiosity

Ward, Renée (2014) Warrior queens and women’s history: deconstructing stereotypes in Margaret Drabble’s A Natural Curiosity. Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 43 (4). pp. 461-482. ISSN 0049-7878

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Abstract

In A Natural Curiosity (1989), Margaret Drabble evokes history and myth, especially the Celtic people of the east and north during Britain’s Roman period, through language and images, and suggests that the past informs contemporary life, that history cannot necessarily be understood as separate from or unconnected to the present. To invoke the past, Drabble employs and critiques the dichotomous stereotypes that typically inform representations of warrior women: the savage female versus the patriotic (and maternal) leader, and the voracious woman versus the chaste maiden. She also demonstrates that the characteristics upon which understandings of warrior women rest are not necessarily negative, not necessarily fixed, and not necessarily gendered. Ultimately, by blurring past and present, Drabble articulates an understanding of women that defies a singular or fixed definition while she simultaneously emphasizes the cyclical rather than linear nature of women’s history.

Keywords:Margaret Drabble, A Natural Curiosity, history, gender, warrior queens, Boudica, Cartimandua, JCNotOpen
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q323 English Literature by topic
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q322 English Literature by author
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:25214
Deposited On:22 Nov 2016 12:49

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