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The Woman Who Did
by Grant Allen
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Ann L. Ardis, University of Delaware
This meticulously edited reprint of Grant Allen's notorious 1895 novel is an important and very welcome addition...
Kathy Alexis Psomiades, Duke University
A splendid resource for those interested in the Victorian fin de siècle, and the nineteenth-century Woman Question.
The most notorious of the so-called "New Woman" novels of the 1890s--a type of fiction inspired by contemporary debates about women's education, family life, and sexual independence--The Woman Who Did was controversial from the start and eventually became a bestseller. Determined to arrange
her own life, Herminia Barton enters a relationship ouside of marriage with the lawyer Alan Merrick, and the consequences of that decision test her resolve to the very limit. Flying in the face of convention, Allen intended the book as a protest against the subjection of women, but feminists
including Millicent Fawcett condemned both Allen and the novel.
This is the controversial book, about a woman who refuses to marry her lover because of stifling marriage laws, that Allen dedicated to his wife.
About the Author
Nicholas Ruddick is a Professor of English at the University of Regina. He is the editor of the Broadview edition of H.G. Wellss The Time Machine (2001).
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