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The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in the First World War
Author: Janet Lee

Total war tends to create a situation that falls back on established social and cultural discourses and institutional arrangements at the same time that it provides the opportunity for a shifting and renegotiation of these arrangements. This book explores how the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) drew upon, and/or subverted cultural mythologies to make sense of their wartime service. It focuses on this renegotiation of gender and examines seven key themes implicit in this process. The first theme concerns the ways women's military organizations utilized traditional notions of genteel femininity and its accompanying nurturance, cheerfulness and devotion in their promise of service, yet went beyond the parameters of such cultural mythologies. The second focuses on the gendering of military heroism. The third theme addresses the context of female military service in terms of the preparation women received, the opportunities they were given and the risks they took, and focuses on their coping behaviours. Theme four focuses specifically on women's transgression into the masculine terrain of driving and mechanics and shares the ways they developed skills and competencies previously off-limits for women. Such transgressions almost invariably led to women having to negotiate masculine authority and develop skills in autonomy, independence and assertiveness - the focus of theme five. The last two themes discussed in the book address the integration and consolidation of women's organizations as the war progressed and their service became indispensable.

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Nation, gender and place in the literary landscapes of Haworth and Brussels
Charlotte Mathieson

search of a ‘Brontë country’ to be traced in the city’s streets. While the culture of literary tourism in Brussels is nowhere near the scale of the industry that has developed at Haworth, it nonetheless bears consideration for the alternative narratives of Charlotte Brontë that are plotted into the cityscape: Brontë’s Brussels journeys resist straightforward interpretation as narratives of female independence and autonomy, full as they are of ambivalence and struggle. But nonetheless, here in the Belgian capital Charlotte developed a sense of independence away from

in Charlotte Brontë
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Emma Liggins

middle-class women’s fiction, also figured through invisibility and exclusion, develops a capacity to cross boundaries and capitalise on her outsider status. In modernist fiction, she is often demonised as the monstrous, vampiric mother who bullies the spinster heroine, rather than being a heroine in her own right. Her oddity embodies the threat of dangerous excess but also the ideal of quiet selfsufficiency. The appropriation of the trappings of widowhood as a cover story, or masquerade, by the unchaperoned Victorian woman, in order to defuse the threat of female

in Odd women?
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

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Nineties’ gothica
Susanne Becker

Jonathan Demme’s movie The Silence of the Lambs ( 1990 ): ‘[It] now seems to intend to strike a subtle balance between a male audience that feels threatened by female independence and attractiveness and a female audience that feels threatened by male aggressiveness’ (1991, 10). This balance is politically correct enough to win four Oscars (1992): after the initially

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
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Claire Hines

magazine and Bond have also been claimed to be symbolic of female independence and sexual freedom, albeit more problematically. The chapter refers to these and other well-established issues and debates in order to approach the portrayal of women in Playboy and Bond, highlighting some similarities between them. In particular the chapter closely analyses how the first Bondrelated Playboy pictorial of November 1965 is not only an indication of how women operate as part of the fantasy, but also expressive of the attractiveness of the Bond character. This, as the chapter

in The playboy and James Bond
Reconfiguring spinsterhood and the Victorian family in inter- war women’s writing
Emma Liggins

‘foredoomed spinster’ by listing her four suitors, Sinclair tries to show female independence as a choice which women, particularly artists, can make, borrowing from suffrage arguments about women’s capacity to resist domestic entrapment by entering the public sphere (1912: 70). Written twenty years after the publicity around the Heger letters, Margaret Lawrence’s chapter on the sisters in We Write as Women (1937) validates their position within ‘the history of the feminist movement’ (1937:  82). Gaskell’s fashioning of Charlotte into a ‘great heroine’, a ‘literary pioneer

in Charlotte Brontë
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Adapting classical myth as Gothic romance
I.Q. Hunter

simply a demonised woman, a standard issue object of terror in a misogynistic genre, but a symbol of female independence, which the film understands self-reflexively to be a projection of male fears: ‘she is what [the men] want Carla to become, the female as object, as an extension of their own being ’ (85). Hutchings notes the frequent images of mirrors in the film, which emphasise visually that

in Monstrous adaptations
The British anti-slavery campaign in Egypt
Diane Robinson-Dunn

the local pashas and beys. 61 One Abyssinian slave was manumitted at Jiddah and then actually married to the master from whom she had tried to escape. 62 By suppressing the slave trade while taking care to restrict female independence, British officials defined proper gender relationships both for Egyptians and for themselves. The ideal that they created was characterised by male authority but

in The harem, slavery and British imperial culture
Women and leisure time in A City Girl (1887) and In Darkest London (1891)
Eliza Cubitt

proposal from George after the death of her illegitimate child. In demonstrating the 79 In Harkness’s London possibility of a ‘fallen’ woman’s recovery, Harkness seems to promise a revelatory picture of female independence, but she dampens the effect by suggesting the bleakness that lies ahead for Nelly. Nelly’s move can be no more positive than her submission to the professedly socialist Arthur. Nelly has had her few hours’ amusement, and misery has cured her of the need for leisure: ‘girlish pleasures seemed such silly things. She had no wish now for theatres and

in Margaret Harkness