9780230302785

The Female Figure in Contemporary Historical Fiction

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780230302785

  • ISBN10:

    0230302785

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-12-11
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

From The Other Boleyn Girl to Fingersmith, this collection explores the popularity of female-centred historical novels in recent years. Examining the female figure in these contemporary fictions, it looks at the ways in which authors intervene in the historical process to present these women, real and imagined. It asks how these representations are influenced by contemporary gender politics and whether they can be seen as part of a wider feminist project to recover women's history. Featuring chapters by newer scholars alongside established figures in the field such as Diana Wallace, as well as an interview with authors Susan Sellers and Alice Thompson, it engages with debates around history, literary value and the postmodern to illustrate the importance of these female figures.

Author Biography

KATHERINE COOPER is a third-year AHRC-funded Ph.D. Candidate at Newcastle University, UK. Her PhD evaluates presentations of nation in Margaret Storm Jameson's fiction of World War Two.


EMMA SHORT has recently completed her PhD at Newcastle University, UK. Her thesis explored the Hotel in the modernist fiction of Jean Rhys, Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen, considering it alongside theories of space and the body to interrogate the ways in which this space challenges conceptions of home and belonging.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Histories and Heroines: The Female Figure in Contemporary Historical Fiction; K.Cooper & E.Short
PART I: HISTORICAL WOMEN – REVISIONING REAL LIVES
The Virtuosa and the Ventriloquists: Janice Galloway's Clara; T.Jamieson
Making Up, or Making Over: Reconstructing the Modern Female Author; E.Short
A Deviant Device: Diary Dissembling in Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace; K.Brindle
Whoso List to Hunt: The Literary Fortunes of Anne Boleyn; J.Crane
PART II: IMAGINED HISTORIES – ROMANCING FICTIONAL HEROINES
Do Knights Still Rescue Damsels in Distress?: Reimagining the Medieval in the Mills and Boon Historical Romance; A.Burge
Sexual F(r)ictions: Pornography in Neo-Victorian Women's Fiction; N.Muller
Re-Claiming Anne Damer/Re-Covering Sapphic History: Emma Donoghue's Life Mask; C.O'Callaghan
Things Slipping between Past and Present: Feminism and the Gothic in Kate Mosse's Sepulchre; K.Cooper
PART III: REWRITING HISTORY – REASSERTING THE FEMALE
Imagine. Investigate. Intervene? A Consideration of Feminist Intent and Metafictive Invention in the Historical Fictions of A.S. Byatt and Marina Warner; S.Harris
In Defence of Fiction: History and Imagination in Kate Grenville's The Secret River and The Lieutenant; A.Gething
Difficulties, Differences and Discontinuities: Reading Women's Historical Fiction; D.Wallace
Writing Historical Fiction: Thoughts from Two Practitioners; S.Sellers & A.Thompson
Selected Bibliography
Index

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