The New Woman in Her Confinement: Fin-de-siècle Constructions of Maternity and Motherhood

  • Kirsty BuntingEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


Bunting surveys writings both by and about the “New Woman” of the 1880s and 1890s, exploring the ways in which the New Woman figure in all her configurations bridged Victorian and Modernist representations of gender ideology. Using Coventry Patmore’s fragile family metaphors and ideals of female domesticity as a starting point in illustrating the tensions between the “new” and the “old,” Bunting unpacks treatments of the themes of marriage and maternity, paying special attention to pregnancy outside of conventional marriage, family planning, eugenicist discourse, syphilis and inheritance of sexual infection and female-centric alternatives to traditional familial models.


New Woman Gender ideology Family metaphors Female domesticity Family planning Eugenicist discourse 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Interdisciplinary StudiesManchester Metropolitan UniversityCreweUK

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