Much recent work has offered a substantial re-assessment of such women’s fiction, past and present. Among studies with a particular bearing on the present example, one might note Judith Lowder Newton’s Women, Power and Subversion: Social Strategies in British Fiction 1778 – 1860 (1981); Patricia Meyer Spacks’s Gossip (1985), which recuperates “gossip” from its negative construction as idle or malicious chatter, and sees its central relationship to the techniques of realist fiction; Annette Kolodny’s reading of the story A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Keating Glaspell in “A Map for Rereading” (in Showalter The New Feminist Criticism (1986)) – a story which suggests the special access to human truths given women by their ability to interpret apparently minor details; Jane P. Tompkins’s re-evaluation of the archetypal sentimental novel, by Harriet Beecher Stowe in “Sentimental Power: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Politics of Literary History” (also in Showalter (1986)); and Janice Radway’s detailed survey of a contemporary female reading population, Reading the Romance (1984), which provides an invaluable corrective to simplistic and dismissive assumptions about the reception of today’s popular romances, as well as offering by extrapolation some hints as to the possible reception of their predecessors.
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SPECIAL THANKS are due to fellow Rosa Nouchette Carey enthusiasts Bettie Durant and Elaine Hartnell for their help in tracking down editions of her novels.
Helen C. Black. Notable Women Authors of the Day. London: Maclaren, 1906.
Susan Gorsky. “The Gentle Doubters: Images of Women in Englishwomen’s Novels, 1840-1920”. In Images of Women in Fiction. Ed. Susan Koppelman Cornillon. Bowling Green Ohio: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1973.
Charles Morgan. The House of Macmillan (1843-1943). London: Macmillan, 1943.
Elaine Showalter. A Literature of Their Own. London: Virago, 1977.
Sarah A. Tooley. “Some Woman Novelists”. Woman at Home, 7 (1897): 161-211.
Robert Lee Wolff. Nineteenth Century Fiction: A BibliographicalCatalogue. New York/London: Garland, 1981.