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The Clever Woman Of The Family
by Charlotte Mary Yonge
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June Sturrock, Simon Fraser University June Sturrock, Simon Fraser University
"I am delighted to see that this important text is now accessible in an excellent edition by Clare A. Simmons.
Charlotte Mary Yonge was one of the most prolific writers of the nineteenth century. Though perhaps best known for her popular childrens books, she also wrote adult novels. Swiftly-plotted and cleanly-wrought, Yonges work has again gained critical attention, in part because she writes about the predicament of nineteenth-century women.
The Clever Woman of the Family is a new woman novel that focuses on a group of women in a small seaside community. It is the early 1860s and British women outnumber men to such an extent that not all women can expect to marry. Rachel Curtis, the clever woman of the title, is an opinionated young woman whose yearning for a mission in life leads to tragicomic results. The Broadview edition contextualizes the novels ambivalent feminism and pro-empire sentiments with materials on some of the most pertinent debates of the time.
Rose found the wheeled chair, to which her aunt gave the preference, was engaged, and shaking her little discreet head at "the shakey chair" and "the stuffy chair," she turned pensively homeward, and was speeding down Mackarel Lane, when she was stayed by the words, "My little girl!" and the grandest and most bearded gentleman she had ever seen, demanded, "Can you tell me if Miss Williams lives here?"
From the Publisher
The Broadview Literary Texts series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, lesser-known literature. Newly type-set and produced on high-quality paper in trade paperback format, the Broadview Literary Texts series is a delight to handle as well as to read.
Each volume includes a full introduction, chronology, bibliography, and explanatory notes along with a variety of documents from the period, giving readers a rich sense of the world from which the work emerged.
About the Author
Clare A. Simmons, of the Department of English, Ohio State University, has published extensively on nineteenth-century literature.
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