Women, Emancipation and the German Novel 1871-1910
Protest Fiction in its Cultural Context

Charlotte Woodford

Germanic Literatures 6

Legenda

1 November 2014  •  200pp

ISBN: 978-1-909662-26-1 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351191-31-9 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ModernGermanFiction


In novels written at the end of the long nineteenth century, women in Germany and Austria engaged with some of the most pressing social questions of the modern age. Charlotte Woodford analyses a wide range of such works, many of them largely forgotten, in the context of the contemporary cultural discourses that informed their creation, such as writings on pacifism and socialism, prostitution, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases. Women’s experience of contemporary medicine as patients and doctors is treated by several authors. Through a close reading of works by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Minna Kautsky, Gabriele Reuter, Helene Böhlau, Ilse Frapan, Hedwig Dohm, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and others, this study shows how writers’ determination to validate women’s experience of the problems of modernity informed the aesthetic development of novels by women.

Charlotte Woodford is Fellow in German at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

Reviews:

  • ‘This substantial, illuminating, and crisply written study looks once again at women’s writing in Germany and Austria in the period of its major impact on a wide reading public between the Franco-Prussian and First World Wars... The book is not only a nuanced contribution to feminist scholarship but also a significant intervention in the wider debate about committed literature. Woodford argues unambiguously for literature’s capacity to function as a driver of social change.’ — Helen Chambers, Modern Language Review 110.4, October 2015, 1161-62 (full text online)
  • ‘It has been estimated that women constituted one-third of the authors of the century. However, women’s protest writing encountered a backlash around the time of World War I: it was viewed as contrary to the true German attitude to gender relations, despised as a foreign implant from France and Scandinavia, and somehow Jewish. The women writers disappeared from the literary histories, and most of them remained invisible until the time I was a student... Woodford’s book is recommendable to teachers and students working in this period because it is full of indicators of how one might enrich the fabric of literary life of the time.’ — Jeffrey L. Sammons, Monatshefte 107.4, December 2015, 673-76

Bibliography entry:

Woodford, Charlotte, Women, Emancipation and the German Novel 1871-1910: Protest Fiction in its Cultural Context, Germanic Literatures, 6 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014)

First footnote reference: 35 Charlotte Woodford, Women, Emancipation and the German Novel 1871-1910: Protest Fiction in its Cultural Context, Germanic Literatures, 6 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Woodford, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Woodford, Charlotte. 2014. Women, Emancipation and the German Novel 1871-1910: Protest Fiction in its Cultural Context, Germanic Literatures, 6 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Woodford 2014: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Woodford 2014: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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