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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/34160

Title: “Smash the social machine”: Neo-Victorianism and postfeminism in Emma Donoghue’s The Sealed Letter
Authors: O'Callaghan, Claire
Keywords: Culture
Emma Donoghue
Feminism
Gender
Lesbianism
Postfeminism
Sexuality
Sexism
Women
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: © The Authors. Published by Swansea University
Citation: O'CALLAGHAN, C., 2013. “Smash the social machine”: Neo-Victorianism and postfeminism in Emma Donoghue’s The Sealed Letter. Neo-Victorian Studies, 6(2), pp. 64-88.
Abstract: This article reads Emma Donoghue’s neo-Victorian novel The Sealed Letter (2008) as a postfeminist text that demonstrates the complex ways in which feminist concerns of the nineteenth century persist in the twenty-first-century present. I argue that Donoghue’s reimagining of the Codrington trial from 1864 offers a reflexive postfeminist critique of the way in which female gender and sexual norms are culturally produced and maintained. In doing so, I propose that The Sealed Letter exemplifies the means through which Victorian ideas of women, gender, and sexuality prevail, while Donoghue’s rewriting of the case draws important parallels with instances of sexism and misogyny in contemporary culture. In reworking the Codrington affair, the novel illustrates long-standing feminist concerns such the sexual double standard and homophobia that are the renewed subject of postfeminist criticism in the new millennium
Description: This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Swansea University under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Version: Published
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/34160
Publisher Link: http://www.neovictorianstudies.com/
ISSN: 1757-9481
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (English and Drama)

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