© 1998

Sisters in Literature

Female Sexuality in Antigone, Middlemarch, Howards End and Women in Love


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Masako Hirai
    Pages 1-7
  3. Masako Hirai
    Pages 8-24
  4. Masako Hirai
    Pages 25-40
  5. Masako Hirai
    Pages 169-210
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 211-221

About this book


A unique study of how novels by Lawrence, Forster and George Eliot can be read as rewritings of Sophocles's Antigone : each is presented as a socially and sexually involving argument between two sisters. The author provides an interconnected case-study where each text works on the hidden meanings of the other. Female sexuality, expressed through the language of duality (vulnerability, frustration, submission and destructivity, consummation and rebirth), becomes an ideal vehicle for crossing the barriers between sexes and between societies, as between the texts themselves.


bibliography English literature female sex George Eliot history history of literature knowledge language literature love novel Ovid Sophocles style women

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.English DepartmentKobe CollegeNishinomiyaJapan

About the authors

Masako Hirai is Professor in the English Department at Kobe University in Nishinomiya, Japan.

Bibliographic information


'Admirably done, extremely perceptive and very well written. The connections she finds between novels under discussion are genuine, and illuminating, and her book will be of interest to all who value as central to the English novel tradition the works of George Elliot, E.M. Forster and D.H. Lawrence.' - Sir Frank Kermode