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Women and Lawyers in the Mid-nineteenth Century English Novel

Uneasy Alliances and Narrative Misrepresentation. Studies in British Literature S. v. 25

By (author) Lynne Marie DeCicco
Format: Hardback
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd, New York, United States
Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Published: 30th Jun 1996
Dimensions: h 240mm
ISBN-10: 0773487565
ISBN-13: 9780773487567
Barcode No: 9780773487567
This text examines three mid-Victorian novels that highlight prevailing attitudes toward both women and lawyers: Charles Dickens' "Bleak House"; Wilkie Collins' "The Woman in White"; and George Eliot's "Felix Holt, the Radical". The novels reflect the confluence of social issues: the public's suspicion of lawyers and the law's own hostility toward women. To qualify the underpinnings of this tension more completely, the first chapter looks at three short works by Herman Melville: "The paradise of Bachelors", "The Tartarus Maids", and "Bartleby the Scrivener". These pieces crystallize the difficulties women encounter when confronted with the legal world, and set the framework for what will be examined in the novels. The volume also provides an overview of the legal profession in England, outlining the kinds of marginality experienced by both lawyers, particularly solicitors, and women, who were struggling for legal identity.

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