The Male Image of Women

  • Merryn Williams


Women novelists were often accused of being unable to draw a man successfully. Men had precisely the same difficulty with women; ‘Their good woman is a queer thing, half-angel, half-doll,’ Charlotte Brontë complained.1 R. D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone (1869) embodies many male fantasies about women. It is fashionable for men and boys to despise them — ‘creatures of a lower order, only good enough to run errands for us, and to nurse boy-babies’. (Chapter 9) The novel is full of such remarks, often dragged in for no reason, for instance, ‘a horse (like a woman) lacks, and is better without, self-reliance’. (Chapter 3)


Male Image Allan Trace Violent Husband Feminine Woman Fall Woman 
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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    Harriet Martineau, Autobiography (London, 1877), Vol. 2, p. 376.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Quoted in Elizabeth Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë (London, 1857), Vol. 2, Ch. 10.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Trollope’s relationship with his mother is discussed in The Trollopes: The Chronicle of a Writing Family, by Lucy Poate Stebbins and Richard Poate Stebbins (London, 1946).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Anthony Trollope, North America (London, 1862), Vol. 1, Ch. 18.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Anthony Trollope, Autobiography (London, 1883), Ch. 10.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    In The Queen of Hearts (1859). See Robert Ashley, Wilkie Collins (London, 1952), p. 55.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Merryn Williams 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merryn Williams

There are no affiliations available

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