The Serious Mrs Stopes: Gender, Writing and Scholarship in Late-Victorian Britain
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Women operating as scholars and agents of social and cultural change in late-Victorian Britain succeeded through their persistence and active engagement in changing and contested social and cultural fields. This paper addresses aspects of the life and work of journalist, activist and scholar, Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (1841-1929). Specifically, the paper provides a discussion of correspondence from Constance and Oscar Wilde between 1888 and 1890, regarding Stopes' publication submissions to the Rational Dress Gazette and the Woman's World, and refers to the dialogics of voice, identity and authorship at work in this context. The view that the literary interventions of late nineteenth-century female writers - particularly writers of scholarly interpretation - were often positioned outside the established public sphere of letters and ideas, characterised as inconsequential (Robinson, xi), or in terms of 'threatening otherness' (Schwab, xi-xv) is also explored.
Nineteenth Century Gender Studies
Culture, Gender, Sexuality