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ERIC Number: ED196027
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Spinster in Victoria's England: Changing Attitudes in Popular Poetry by Women.
Hickok, Kathleen
The social and literary representation of the unmarried woman of "a certain age"--the spinster--provides a convenient focus for observing the overall progress of all women in English life. As the single woman's stature increased in the esteem of her culture, English writers began to reflect the changing social attitudes by depicting her in ever more positive ways. The popular poetry of women writers which appeared in the giftbooks, magazines, and monographs that adorned middle- and upper-class drawing rooms in nineteenth century England provides another glimpse of how women themselves regarded the fame and fortunes of the ever-increasing number of spinsters among them. Women poets' attitudes toward the unmarried woman shifted from ridicule, to pity, to respect; finally, in the 1890s the spinster was replaced in prominence in the popular imagination by the competing figure of the "New Woman," a daring and controversial creature whom women poets by and large avoided depicting at all. The poetry of Adelaide Anne Procter, George Eliot, and Augusta Webster help to illustrate the change in attitudes toward the single woman. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A