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Victorian Women Writers and the ClassicsThe Feminine of Homer$
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Isobel Hurst

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283514.001.0001

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Classics and the Family in the Victorian Novel

Classics and the Family in the Victorian Novel

(p.130) 4 Classics and the Family in the Victorian Novel
Victorian Women Writers and the Classics

Isobel Hurst (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The varied accounts of classical studies in fiction deserve a more prominent place in the analysis of 19th-century reception of the classics. This chapter discusses fictions about women studying the classics at home: negative representations of selfish scholarly heroines, such as Charlotte M. Yonge's The Daisy Chain, are contrasted with those of compliant girls whose access to patriarchal culture is controlled by their fathers, for example, Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey and Elizabeth Gaskell's Cousin Phillis. Clergy daughters are represented as using their classical learning for the benefit of their families, particularly their fathers, in contrast to the story of Milton's rebellious daughters, which is invoked in George Eliot's Middlemarch.

Keywords:   fiction, Charlotte M. Yonge, The Daisy Chain, Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey, clergy, fathers, daughters, George Eliot, Middlemarch

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