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The Awkward Age in Women's Popular Fiction, 1850-1900 – Girls and the Transition to Womanhood - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Awkward Age in Women's Popular Fiction, 1850-1900: Girls and the Transition to Womanhood

Sarah Bilston


This book demonstrates that ‘the awkward age’ formed a fault-line in Victorian female experience, an unusual phase in which restlessness, self-interest, and rebellion were possible. Tracing evolving treatments of female adolescence though a host of long-forgotten women's fictions, the book reveals that representations of the girl in popular women's literature importantly anticipated depictions of the feminist in the fin de siècle New Woman writing; conservative portrayals of girls' hopes, dreams, and subsequent frustrations helped clear a literary and cultural space for the New Woman's ‘awaken ... More

Keywords: awkward age, Victorian, restlessness, women's literature, rebellion, New Woman, self-interest

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780199272617
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199272617.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sarah Bilston, author
Post-doctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer, Yale University.
Author Webpage