In this work of feminist literary criticism the authors explore the works of many major 19th-century women writers. They chart a tangible desire expressed for freedom from the restraints of a confining patriarchal society and trace a distinctive female literary tradition.
This pathbreaking book of feminist criticism is now reissued with a substantial new introduction by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar that reveals the origins of their revolutionary realization in the 1970s that "the personal was the political, the sexual was the textual." "The classic argument for a women's literary tradition."—Scott Heller, Chronicle of Higher Education "The authors force us to take a new look at the grandes dames of English literature, and the result is that they will never seem quite the same again."—Le Anne Schreiber, New York Times Book Review "Imperative reading."—Carolyn G. Heilbrun, Washington Post Book World "A masterpiece."—Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times Book Review "The Madwoman in the Attic, The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century, originally published in 1979, has long since become a classic, one of the most important works of literary criticism of the 20th century. This new edition contains an introduction titled "The Madwoman in the Academy" that is, quite simply, a delight to read, warmly witty, provocative, informative and illuminating."—Joyce Carol Oates, Princeton University "A groundbreaking study of women writers. . . . The book brought the concerns of feminism to the study of female writers and presented the case for the existence of a distinctly feminine imagination."—Martin Arnold, The New York Times "The authors are brilliant academics but they wear their erudition lightly. It remains imperative reading for those who want to understand better the grandes dames of English literature, and is still one of the most powerful pieces of writing from a feminist point of view. Argumentative, polemical, witty and thought-provoking, this is a book which will make the reader return to the original texts." —Yorkshire Post (Leeds) "A feminist classic and still one of the best books on the female Victorian Writers."—Judith Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review
Published in 1979, Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic was hailed as a pathbreaking work of criticism. This thirtieth-anniversary collection adds both valuable reassessments and new readings and analyses. The authors take as their subjects specific nineteenth- and twentieth-century women writers, the state of feminist theory and pedagogy, genre studies, film, race, and postcolonialism, with approaches ranging from ecofeminism to psychoanalysis.
When it was published in 1979, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imaginationwas hailed as a pathbreaking work of criticism, changing the way future scholars would read Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, the Brontës, George Eliot, and Emily Dickinson. This thirtieth-anniversary collection adds both valuable reassessments and new readings and analyses inspired by Gilbert and Gubar’s approach. It includes work by established and up-and-coming scholars, as well as retrospective accounts of the ways in which The Madwoman in the Attic has influenced teaching, feminist activism, and the lives of women in academia. These contributions represent both the diversity of today’s feminist criticism and the tremendous expansion of the nineteenth-century canon. The authors take as their subjects specific nineteenth- and twentieth-century women writers, the state of feminist theory and pedagogy, genre studies, film, race, and postcolonialism, with approaches ranging from ecofeminism to psychoanalysis. And although each essay opens Madwoman to a different page, all provocatively circle back—with admiration and respect, objections and challenges, questions and arguments—to Gilbert and Gubar's groundbreaking work. The essays are as diverse as they are provocative. Susan Fraiman describes how Madwoman opened the canon, politicized critical practice, and challenged compulsory heterosexuality, while Marlene Tromp tells how it elegantly embodied many concerns central to second-wave feminism. Other chapters consider Madwoman’s impact on Milton studies, on cinematic adaptations of Wuthering Heights, and on reassessments of Ann Radcliffe as one of the book’s suppressed foremothers. In the thirty years since its publication, The Madwoman in the Attic has potently informed literary criticism of women’s writing: its strategic analyses of canonical works and its insights into the interconnections between social environment and human creativity have been absorbed by contemporary critical practices. These essays constitute substantive interventions into established debates and ongoing questions among scholars concerned with defining third-wave feminism, showing that, as a feminist symbol, the raging madwoman still has the power to disrupt conventional ideas about gender, myth, sexuality, and the literary imagination.
The 1979 publication of Susan Gubar and Sandra M. Gilbert's ground-breaking study The Madwoman in the Attic marked a founding moment in feminist literary history as much as feminist literary theory. In their extensive study of nineteenth-century women's writing, Gubar and Gilbert offer radical re-readings of Jane Austen, the Bront�s, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot and Mary Shelley tracing a distinctive female literary tradition and female literary aesthetic. Gubar and Gilbert raise questions about canonisation that continue to resonate today, and model the revolutionary importance of re-reading influential texts that may seem all too familiar