Barbara Pym and the War of the Sexes
“What a good thing there is no marriage or giving in marriage in the after-life,” remarks Jane Cleveland in Jane and Prudence (1953); “it will certainly help to smooth things out” (p. 214). The war of the sexes goes on continually in Barbara Pym’s novels, with men apparently winning it at some moments, women at others. “As an anthropologist,” Rupert Stonebird in An Unsuitable Attachment (1982) knows “that men and women may observe each other as warily as wild animals hidden in long grass” (opening paragraph, p. 13).
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- 1.Barbara Brothers, “Women Victimized by Fiction,” in Twentieth-Century Women Novelists, ed. Thomas F. Staley (London, 1982), pp. 69 and 71.Google Scholar