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dc.contributor.author Wojciechowski, Miranda
dc.date.accessioned 2019-07-08T16:19:55Z
dc.date.available 2019-07-08T16:19:55Z
dc.date.issued 2019-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2022/23215
dc.description Paper presented at the 2019 Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada, May 2-3, 2019 at the University of Calgary. en
dc.description.abstract In her 1936 autobiography, The Sheltering Tree, fin-de-siècle and Edwardian writer Netta Syrett takes popular retrospectives of the late-Victorian era to task. Offering her account as a “counterblast” to the “picture” of “the terribly restricted life of women whose youth corresponded with” hers, and laughingly dismissing the separate spheres as a relic belonging only to “society with a capital S,” Syrett reclaims the 1880s and 1890s as a period of shocking modernity: one that afforded women relatively unconstrained mobility and opportunities for financial independence (5). Later on, however, she marks a clear shift between generations: whereas “nowadays damsels of eighteen . . . take part in the . . . discussions that I heard at the Grant Allens,” she writes, many “topics” of interest to the New Woman novelists “w[ere] not” items “for discussion in public” (46-67). For Syrett, measuring the progress of her present against the Victorian past, freedom of conversation in mixed company was the final frontier gained by the modern woman. Describing a “love of conversation” that “had never been thoroughly gratified” (43) in “ordinary society” (46), Syrett looks backwards to the eighteenth- century as well as forwards to the twentieth, tellingly lamenting that “I sometimes think I managed very badly in not arranging to be born in the age of the salon!” (43). The Victorian era, then, in Syrett’s narrative as in broader historical ones, lies suspended between the heterosocial glories of past salons and the heterosocial possibilities of subsequent modernity. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Heterosociality at the Crossways: Cultures of Conversational Exchange between Men and Women in the Fin de Siècle en
dc.type Presentation en
dc.identifier.doi 10.5967/fgna-6972


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