Bicycles, Bangs, and Bloomers

Patricia Marks, Author University Press of Kentucky $35 (232p) ISBN 978-0-8131-1704-1
In the 1880s and '90s the expanding aspirations of women were the subject of satire and caricature. Through humorous pieces drawn from British and American periodicals, Marks ( American Literary and Drama Reviews ) traces the evolution of the ``New Woman.'' Often pictured in newfangled bloomers, striding toward colleges and careers, these ``revolting daughters'' were described as disintegrators of the social fabric, in apposition to the conventional ``womanly woman'' typified by the shopgirl, the seamstress, the governess. Among the women who had failed to fulfill Victorian expectations of wife and motherhood, and thus were termed ``redundant,'' a sense of alienation fueled changes in their interests and relationships, shows Marks. These new directions, mirrored in the press with immoderate humor, as evidenced in this collection of prose, verse and cartoons, constitute a significant contribution to the study of feminism and Victorianism. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/21/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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