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Irish Novelists and the Victorian Age$
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James H. Murphy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596997.001.0001

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Grania and her Sisters: New Women Abroad and at Home

Grania and her Sisters: New Women Abroad and at Home

(p.193) 9 Grania and her Sisters: New Women Abroad and at Home
Irish Novelists and the Victorian Age

James H. Murphy

Oxford University Press

The 1880s and 1890s were the years of the new-woman movement in literature. In any list of the most important half dozen new-woman novelists three women with Irish connections, Sarah Grand, Iota (Mrs Caffyn), and George Egerton, almost always figure. Grand, like Iota, is sometimes thought of as a conservative feminist because of her belief in valuing femininity as well as extending opportunities for women. George Egerton is generally thought of as being more unrestrained and as promoting a wilder and sexually freer view of womanhood. Other novels by Irish writers like L. T. Meade also fit within the new-woman category. There is a note of disillusion in the novels of Ella MacMahon, however. On the other side of the Irish Sea women were once more coming into a position of some dominance in the novel. Among them were Somerville and Ross and Emily Lawless. Lawless's Grania and Somerville and Ross's The Real Charlotte and The Silver Fox are impressive expositions of the lives of women in Ireland at a variety of social levels.

Keywords:   new woman, feminism, sexuality, Sarah Grand, George Egerton, Emily Lawless, Somerville and Ross, Meade

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