Marriage in matriarchy: matrimony in women's utopian fiction 1888-1909

Styler, Rebecca (2017) Marriage in matriarchy: matrimony in women's utopian fiction 1888-1909. In: For better, for worse: marriage in Victorian novels by women. Routledge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature . Routledge. ISBN 9781138285644

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In the last decade or so of the nineteenth century, marriage came under substantial attack as an institution that, without radical reform, would keep women in a state of virtual slavery to men. Yet many voices claimed that marriage could be reborn as a fulfilling and non-oppressive partnership if its terms were thoroughly rewritten, with women’s interests at heart. A number of feminist utopia texts published in this era demonstrate the protests and aspirations of some women regarding matrimony, by presenting alternative worlds in which marriage suits the emancipated female. The focus is on Jane Hume Clapperton’s Margaret Dunmore: or, A Socialist Home (1888), Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett’s New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future (1889), Amelia Mears’ Mercia, The Astronomer Royal: A Romance (1895), Florence Ethel Mills Young’s The War of the Sexes (1905) and Irene Clyde’s Beatrice the Sixteenth (1909). While political equality is taken as a given, these texts also address economic independence, divorce, the apportioning of housework, motherhood, and the place marriage has in women’s lives comparable to and independent vocation, other friendships, and engagement in community. Marriage is shown as redeemable only if women are granted equality in the economic, legal, cultural as well as political spheres.

Keywords:Feminism, Victorian Novel, Feminist socialism, Queer, Domesticity
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V145 Modern History 1900-1919
L Social studies > L216 Feminism
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
L Social studies > L213 Socialism
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:26588
Deposited On:03 Mar 2017 09:31

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