Description : From The Other Boleyn Girl to Fingersmith, this collection explores the popularity of female-centred historical novels in recent years. Examining the female figure in these contemporary fictions, it looks at the ways in which authors intervene in the historical process to present these women, real and imagined. It asks how these representations are influenced by contemporary gender politics and whether they can be seen as part of a wider feminist project to recover women's history. Featuring chapters by newer scholars alongside established figures in the field such as Diana Wallace, as well as an interview with authors Susan Sellers and Alice Thompson, it engages with debates around history, literary value and the postmodern to illustrate the importance of these female figures.
Description : Virginity is of concern here, that is its utter messiness. At once valuable and detrimental, normative and deviant, undesirable and enviable. Virginity and its loss hold tremendous cultural significance. For many, female virginity is still a universally accepted condition, something that is somehow bound to the hymen, whereas male virginity is almost as elusive as the G-spot: we know it's there, it’s just we have a harder time finding it. Of course boys are virgins, queers are virgins, some people reclaim their virginities, and others reject virginity from the get go. So what if we agree to forget the hymen all together? Might we start to see the instability of terms like untouched, pure, or innocent? Might we question the act of sex, the very notion of relational sexuality? After all, for many people it is the sexual acts they don’t do, or don’t want to do, that carry the most abundant emotional clout. Virgin Envy is a collection of essays that look past the vestal virgins and beyond Joan of Arc. From medieval to present-day literature, the output of HBO, Bollywood, and the films of Abdellah Taïa or Derek Jarman to the virginity testing of politically active women in Tahrir Square, the writers here explore the concept of virginity in today’s world to show that ultimately virginity is a site around which our most basic beliefs about sexuality are confronted, and from which we can come to understand some of our most basic anxieties, paranoias, fears, and desires.
Description : Sarah Waters and Contemporary Feminisms presents ten readings of Sarah Waters’s fictions published to date in relation to feminism and contemporary feminist theory. The analysis offered in the collection investigates how Waters engages with recent debates on women and gender and how her writings reflect the different concerns of contemporary feminist theories. In particular, the collection includes new and innovative readings of how Waters’s novels address issues of patriarchy, female confinement, madness and misogyny, exploitation and oppression, repression and subordination, abortion, marriage and spinsterhood alongside passionate portrayals of female agency, desire, aesthetics, female sexual expression, and, of course, lesbianism.
Description : Neo-Victorian writers invoke conflicting viewpoints in diaries, letters, etc. to creatively retrace the past in fragmentary and contradictory ways. This book explores the complex desires involved in epistolary discoveries of 'hidden' Victorians, offering new insight into the creative synthesising of critical thought within the neo-Victorian novel.
Description : This book considers the complex ways in which the hotel functions to express the shifting experiences of modernity in the works of such authors as Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells, and Elizabeth Bowen. The text contributes to the critical debates on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature concerning space, movement, and mobility, arguing that the hotel reconfigures boundaries of modernist, middlebrow, and popular fiction. Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary theoretical and analytical perspectives, the book provides a critical and cultural history of the hotel in British literature, charting its changing nature and usage from the mid-nineteenth century up until the interwar period.
Description : Fiction that reconsiders, challenges, reshapes, and/or upholds national narratives of history has long been an integral aspect of Canadian literature. Works by writers of historical fiction (from early practitioners such as John Richardson to contemporary figures such as Alice Munro and George Elliott Clarke) propose new views and understandings of Canadian history and individual relationships to it. Critical evaluation of these works sheds light on the complexity of these depictions. The contributors in National Plots: Historical Fiction and Changing Ideas of Canada critically examine texts with subject matter ranging from George Vancouver’s west coast explorations to the eradication of the Beothuk in Newfoundland. Reflecting diverse methodologies and theoretical approaches, the essays seek to explicate depictions of “the historical” in individual texts and to explore larger questions relating to historical fiction as a genre with complex and divergent political motivations and goals. Although the topics of the essays vary widely, as a whole the collection raises (and answers) questions about the significance of the roles historical fiction has played within Canadian culture for nearly two centuries.
Description : Eleanor of Aquitaine (1124-1204), queen of France and England and mother of two kings, has often been described as one of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages. Yet her real achievements have been embellished--and even obscured--by myths that have grown up over eight centuries. This process began in her own lifetime, as chroniclers reported rumours of her scandalous conduct on crusade, and has continued ever since. She has been variously viewed as an adulterous queen, a monstrous mother and a jealous murderess, but also as a patron of literature, champion of courtly love and proto-feminist defender of women's rights. Inventing Eleanor interrogates the myths that have grown up around the figure of Eleanor of Aquitaine and investigates how and why historians and artists have invented an Eleanor who is very different from the 12th-century queen. The book first considers the medieval primary sources and then proceeds to trace the post-medieval development of the image of Eleanor, from demonic queen to feminist icon, in historiography and the broader culture.
Description : The publication in 1992 of Miyabe Miyuke s highly anticipated Kasha (translated into English as All She Was Worth) represents a watershed in the history of Japanese women s detective fiction. Inspired by Miyabe s success and the increasing number of Western mysteries in translation, women began writing mysteries of all types, employing the narrative and conceptual resources of the detective genre to depict and critique contemporary Japanese society and the situation of women in it. Bodies of Evidence examines this recent boom and the ways in which five contemporary authors (Miyabe, Nonami Asa, Shibata Yoshiki, Kirino Natsuo, and Matsuo Yumi) critically engage with a variety of social issues and concerns: consumerism and the crisis of identity, discrimination and harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment and sexual violence, and motherhood. Bodies of Evidence moves beyond the borders of detective fiction scholarship by exploring the worlds constructed by these authors in their novels and showing how they intersect with other political, cultural, and economic discourses and with the lived experiences of contemporary Japanese women.
Description : Rebekah, book two in New York Times bestselling author Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis series—a unique re-imagining of the biblical tale. Born into a time and place where a woman speaks her mind at her peril, and reared as a motherless child by a doting father, Rebekah grew up to be a stunning, headstrong beauty. She was chosen by God for a special destiny. Rebekah leaves her father's house to marry Isaac, the studious young son of the Patriarch Abraham, only to find herself caught up in a series of painful rivalries, first between her husband and his brother Ishmael, and later between her sons Jacob and Esau. Her struggles to find her place in the family of Abraham are a true test of her faith, but through it all she finds her own relationship with God and does her best to serve His cause in the lives of those she loves. Women of Genesis Sarah Rebekah At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.