Fictions of Dissent
Fin-de-siecle women's fiction by both British female aesthetes and American women regionalists repeatedly stages moments of rebellion in which female characters rise up and (literally or metaphorically) resist being incorporated into works of art. Cordell asserts that these revolutionary acts constitute a transatlantic conversation that ties together apparently disparate preoccupations with national identity, aesthetic practice and the question of creative ownership. Traditional divisions between Victorian and American studies have largely dictated that these two groups of writers be treated as isolated entities. Given the robust exchange of texts and ideas across the Atlantic during the period, this division overlooks the lines of influence that emerged within a transnational reading public. Fictions of Dissent draws on both women's studies and book history to bridge this gap, while at the same time remaining attentive to the specifics of national difference. By examining these concerns through the work of both familiar and relatively unfamiliar women writers and within texts that circulated across national borders, Cordell's work builds on and extends recent scholarship and reveals the ways in which New Women writers saw political and economic independence as being intertwined with artistic and narrative autonomy.
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