Skip to main content

Girl of the Period

  • 75 Accesses

Definition

Victorian novelist and journalist Eliza Lynn Linton (1822–1898) is most often associated with her controversial 1868 essay “The Girl of the Period.” Despite Linton’s status as a professional woman writer who moved well beyond traditional female roles, the essay’s scathing treatment of the “modern girl” earned Linton a reputation as an opponent to the emerging women’s movement. The piece is perhaps best understood, however, as reflecting the rhetorical challenges of the Victorian woman writer at a crucial turning point in the history of gender and sexuality.

Introduction

Published anonymously in a March 1868 issue of the Saturday Review, “The Girl of the Period” was arguably one of the most controversial pieces ever produced by Eliza Lynn Linton (1822–1898). The essay was so popular that it sold more than 40,000 copies when it was reprinted later that year as a pamphlet, sparking a wide range of responses among readers and critics alike. At the heart of Linton’s essay was...

Keywords

  • Periodical
  • Fashion
  • Women’s history
  • Saturday Review
  • New Woman

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Anderson, Nancy Fix. 1987. Woman against women in Victorian England: A life of Eliza Lynn Linton. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bilston, Sarah. 2004. The awkward age in women’s popular fiction, 1850–1900. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Broomfield, Andrea. 2001. Much more than an antifeminist: Eliza Lynn Linton and the rise of Victorian popular journalism. Victorian Literature and Culture 29 (2): 267–283.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Craik, Dinah Mulock. 1864. In her teens. Macmillan’s 10: 219–223.

    Google Scholar 

  • Defense. 1868. A defense of the girl of the period by one of the sisterhood. London: Robert Hardwicke.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fraser, Hilary, Judith Johnston, and Stephanie Green. 2003. Gender and the Victorian periodical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Layard, George Somes. 1901. Mrs. Lynn Linton: Her life, letters, and opinions. London: Methuen and Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Linton, Eliza Lynn. 1868. The girl of the period. The Saturday Review 25 (646): 339–340.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 1868–1869. Ourselves. By a woman. The Broadway 1: 31–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 1885. The autobiography of Christopher Kirkland. Vol. 3. London: Richard Bentley and Son.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 1887. Sowing the wind. Vol. 3. London: Tinsley Brothers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Logan, Deborah Ann. 1998. Fallenness in Victorian women’s writing: Marry, stitch, die, or do worse. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sanders, Valerie. 1996. Eve’s renegades: Victorian anti-feminist women novelists. New York: Palgrave.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • What is the girl of the period for? 1869. The Girl of the Period Miscellany 1: 5–11.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kimberly J. Stern .

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Stern, K.J. (2020). Girl of the Period . In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_235-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_235-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-02721-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-02721-6

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Literature, Cultural & Media StudiesReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences