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Convict voices [electronic resource] : women, class, and writing about prison in nineteenth-century England / Anne Schwan.

Schwan, Anne. (Author). Project Muse. (Added Author).
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Electronic resources

Subject: Women prisoners in literature.
Women prisoners > England > History > 19th century.
English literature > Women authors > History and criticism.
English literature > 19th century > History and criticism.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781611686739
  • ISBN: 1611686733
  • Physical Description: 1 online resource (xii, 290 pages :) illustrations ;
  • Publisher: Durham, N.H. : University of New Hampshire Press, [2014]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note: Introduction: Approaching female prisons' voices -- "Shame, you are not going to hang me!": Women's voices in nineteenth-century street literature -- The lives of which "There are no records kept": Convicts and matrons in the prison narratives of Frederick William Robinson ("A prison Matron") -- The limits of female reformation: Hidden stories in George Eliot's Adam Bede and Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone -- "A clamorous multitude and a silent prisoner": Women's rights, spirtualism, and public speech in Susan Willis Fletcher's Twelve Months in an English Prison -- Gender and citizenship in Edwardian writings from prison: Katie Gliddon and the suffragettes at Holloway -- Postscript: Rewriting women's prison history in historical fiction: Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace and Sarah Waters's Affinity.
Summary: In this lively study of the development and transformation of voices of female offenders in nineteenth-century England, Anne Schwan analyzes a range of colorful sources, including crime broadsides, reform literature, prisoners' own writings about imprisonment and courtroom politics, and conventional literary texts, such as Adam Bede and The Moonstone. Not only does Schwan demonstrate strategies for interpreting ambivalent and often contradictory texts, she also provides a carefully historicized approach to the work of feminist recovery. Crossing class lines, genre boundaries, and gender roles in the effort to trace prisoners, authors, and female communities (imagined or real), Schwan brings new insight to what it means to locate feminist (or protofeminist) details, arguments, and politics. In this case, she tracks the emergence of a contested, and often contradictory, feminist consciousness, through the prism of nineteenth-century penal debates. The historical discussion is framed by reflections on contemporary debates about prisoner perspectives to illuminate continuities and differences. Convict Voices offers a sophisticated approach to interpretive questions of gender, genre, and discourse in the representation of female convicts and their voices and viewpoints. -- Provided by publisher.
Source of Description Note: Description based on print version record.

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