The existing canon of scholarship on Dracula asserts that the sexually aggressive female vampires are representative of the New Woman, and thus are evidence of Stoker’s conservative reaction to changing gender roles. In contrast, this article offers a reinterpretation Dracula in the light of key writings of the New Woman movement which sought to demonize the Victorian marriage market because of its creation of a class of female parasites: idle middle-class woman entirely dependent on fathers and husbands. A close reading of key sections of the novel demonstrates that the female vampires are characterized as traditionally subordinate Victorian housewives, in contrast to the positive presentation of Mina Harker as a New Woman. This reading reveals a text that argues that work for women is the only antidote to the degeneration inherent in traditional womanhood, through which women are reduced to nothing more than their biological functions.
Chapter 2 Bachelor girls, mistresses and the New Woman heroine This chapter examines radical representations of work, celibacy, adoption and ‘female urbanism’ in fin-de-siècle short stories and novels. Middle-class women’s unprecedented entry into the labour market meant changes in accommodation: working women now lived alone, rented rooms with friends or siblings or occupied the new ladies’ lodging houses in London.1 The 1890s saw the birth of the ‘bachelor girl’, a new label given to young independent female workers, particularly those employed in the new shops
1 New byt, new woman, new forms of housing B efore we start exploring the Soviet approach to housing, we need to understand the state housing was in when the Bolsheviks came to power, and hence what they had to deal with before they could start putting their own ideas into practice. Accordingly, we will start this chapter with an outline of the housing situation in Russian cities before the Revolution. We will then look at the revolutionary government’s attempts to develop a distinctly socialist housing policy in the chaotic conditions of the Civil War and War
Women of War is an examination of gender modernity using the world’s longest established women’s military organisation, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, as a case study. Formed in 1907 and still active today, the Corps was the first to adopt khaki uniform, prepare for war service, staff a regimental first aid post near the front line and drive officially for the British army in France. It was the only British unit whose members were sworn in as soldiers of the Belgian army, and it was the most decorated women’s corps of the First World War. Bringing both public and personal representations into dialogue through an analysis of newspaper articles, ephemera, memoirs, diaries, letters, interviews, photographs and poetry, this book sits at the crossroads of British, social, gender and women’s history, drawing upon the diverse fields of military history, animal studies, trans studies, dress history, sociology of the professions, nursing history and transport history. It reconstructs the organisation’s formation, its adoption of martial clothing, increased professionalisation, and wartime activities of first aid and driving, focusing specifically upon the significance of gender modernity. While the FANY embodied the New Woman, challenging the limits of convention and pushing back the boundaries of the behavour, dress and role considered appropriate for women, the book argues that the Corps was simultaneously deeply conservative, upholding imperial, unionist and antifeminist values. That it was a complex mix of progressive and conservative elements, both conformist and reformist, gets to the heart of the fascinating complexity surrounding the organisation.
expressed in later adaptations, will be particularly relevant to this discussion, and in order to explore the extent to which Mina reflects and/or deviates from the Gothic heroine, reference will be made to the late Victorian emergence of the iconic New Woman which complicates representations of the passive victim-heroine. The novel Dracula is a novel
the second-wave feminism of the 1960s, there has been a considerable increase in the number of works exploring women’s experiences in the Weimar Republic, and many them have focused on the ‘new woman’. For many, during the Republic and subsequently, the ‘new woman’ was a potent symbol of both Weimar’s modernity and its crisis. 7 For some, she symbolised the opportunities offered by the Republic, for others its degeneracy, indicative of the contradictions inherent in modernity. Sporting a page-boy haircut, known in German as a Bubikopf , and a short skirt over her
, and the print media, presents the FANY, the earliest uniformed quasi-military female organisation in existence, as a case study of gender modernity, and it is to a consideration of these terms that we first turn. ‘No more certain sign of the times’: Modernity and the New Woman ‘Modernity’ is a concept that has long animated scholars. 8 There is no fixed set of features nor a universally accepted definition of what constitutes the modern. It is a discursive category that is as imprecise and bland as it is contested. Scholars have deployed this culturally
’s work evinces a thorough familiarity with sensation fiction, a genre that issued in multiple directions by the late nineteenth century, including supposedly conservative detective fiction, potentially subversive Gothic and provocatively transgressive New Woman writing. Lee’s adventures bridge these genres through Marsh’s ambivalent construction of his protagonist as a potentially progenerate offspring of his earlier Gothic monsters, while also gesturing towards medico-scientific romance in their fascination with science and communication technology. The series is thus
5 ‘Breaking away’: Beatrice Grimshaw and the commercial woman writer Jane Mahony and Eve Patten I wanted a life of adventure – you can’t tell how the longing for it used to pull at my very heartstrings! I wanted to live for myself and work out my own life; to be – well, what you would call a New Woman, I suppose. You don’t need to know how the passion for absolute freedom sometimes takes hold of a girl.1 T hese words are voiced by the character of Eva Rivington, the young wife of ‘Ireland’s greatest novelist’, in Beatrice Grimshaw’s 1897 romantic literary
hypocritical pattern of existence where ‘good people’ (society people, civilised people) also follow their instincts. A Call similarly investigates the repression of instincts, mental breakdown, and, in greater detail than The Good Soldier, the new threat of the ‘New Woman’.4 Karl Kraus referred to the new twentieth century as the ‘vaginal century’;5 A Call suggests some reasons as to why. It goes about its work in a less embedded and convoluted style than The Good Soldier – though Ford does employ time shift to reflect accurately the way in which the characters come to