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The Trial of Woman : Feminism and the Occult Sciences in Victorian Literature and Society - D. Basham

The Trial of Woman

Feminism and the Occult Sciences in Victorian Literature and Society

By: D. Basham

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During the Victorian period, women were judged on the legendary guilt of the female sex. As the women's rights movement gathered strength and coherence, the advent of mesmerism, spiritualism and theosophy - collectively "the new witchcraft" of the Victorian period - revived old notions of female occult power. In this book, the author explores these two strands of Victorian feminism and argues that the taboo subject of menstruation was the hidden pleader at the centre of the "woman question". Drawing on a wide range of literary texts, the author examines the careers of a number of significant women, from Lady Byron to Madame Blavatsky, who tried to reconcile ambivalences in women's relation to spirituality and the law. This study suggests that the occult revival inspired Victorian writers to create the "new woman", a figure to rival the achievements of Victorian science.

Preface - Frankenstein's Monster: Lady Byron and Victorian Feminism - Women Clothed with the Sun: The Prophetic Element in Nineteenth-Century Women's Discourse - The Demon Redeemed: Witchcraft, Mesmerism and Harriet Martineau's Ear-Trumpet - Out of the Body: Spiritualism, Communications and the Law - Life after Spiritualism: Victorian Women's Ghost Stories - Through the Looking Glass: Madame Blavatsky and the Occult Mother - Appendix - Bibliography - Notes - Index

ISBN: 9780333482025
ISBN-10: 0333482026
Series: Feminism and the Occult Science in Victorian Literature and
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 253
Published: 14th January 1992
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.79  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.49
Edition Number: 2