Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Charlotte BrontëLegacies and Afterlives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Amber K. Regis and Deborah Wynne

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992460

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992460.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

The legacy of Lucy Snowe: reconfiguring spinsterhood and the Victorian family in inter-war women’s writing

The legacy of Lucy Snowe: reconfiguring spinsterhood and the Victorian family in inter-war women’s writing

Chapter:
(p.164) 7 The legacy of Lucy Snowe: reconfiguring spinsterhood and the Victorian family in inter-war women’s writing
Source:
Charlotte Brontë
Author(s):

Emma Liggins

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784992460.003.0008

This chapter traces women writers’ reinterpretations and re-workings of Charlotte Brontë’s ‘feminist voice’ between 1910 and 1940, considering political and auto/biographical writing by Virginia Woolf, May Sinclair and Vera Brittain, before focusing on the new spinster heroines of modernist novels such as Sinclair’s The Three Sisters and Winifred Holtby’s The Crowded Street. These prominent inter-war literary writers are worth (re-)exploring for the ways in which they challenged and reconfigured assumptions about the Victorian family, often through invoking the ‘myth’ of Charlotte Brontë. This post-Victorian mythologising of Charlotte as both dutiful daughter and champion of female singleness was important to feminists, as they traced the genealogies of the woman writer and of women’s political achievements. For women writers from the 1910s to the 1940s, Charlotte Brontë is revered as a figure emblematic of the Victorian daughter’s entrapment within the patriarchal household, and as a pioneering woman writer who created modern, rebellious heroines. Looking back to representations of solitude, independence and singleness in Charlotte’s letters and in her last novel, Villette, modernist authors used their spinster heroines to reject purely domestic identities in order to embrace the world of paid work.

Keywords:   May Sinclair, Modernism, Singleness, Villette, Virginia Woolf, Winifred Holtby

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.