Life After Death: Widows and the English Novel, Defoe to Austen (Hardback)Karen Bloom Gevirtz (author)
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 05/12/2005
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"Life After Death" shows how representations of the widow in the eighteenth-century novel express attitudes toward emerging capitalism and women's participation in it. Authors responded to the century's instability by using widows, who had the right to act economically and self-interestedly, to teach women that virtue meant foregoing the opportunities that the changing economy offered. Novelists thus helped to create expectations for women that linger today, and established the novel as a cultural arbiter. The first study of widows in the developing novel, "Life After Death" also takes the next step in merging genre, gender, and economic criticism. It supports its analysis of wealthy, employed, poor, and criminal widows in novels published throughout the period, including the complete works of Jane Austen, with archival materials, most of which are discussed in print for the first time. Illuminating the origins of the novel, capitalism, and gender roles in the century that also gave us the American and French Revolutions, "Life After Death" offers something for ordinary and scholarly readers alike. Karen Bloom Gevirtz teaches at Seton Hall University.
Publisher: Associated University Presses
Number of pages: 224
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