This book by Gilbert and Gubar was groundbreaking literary criticism when it was first published, and paved the way for an explosion in feminist literary criticism that allowed much existing work to be re-evaluated and enriched by what women had to say
I recently re-read this work, and have to say that some of it is now dated, and the enormous preface to the recent edition does not really add anything to the main body of text, although it does go some way to setting the scene for the research. It seems dated because what Gilbert and Gubar once fought for is now taken for granted by so many, which just shows the success of their achievements.
The majority of the work on the 19th Century novels themselves, particularly the work of Charlotte Bronte is invaluable and always enriching and interesting. Nobody should be able to read these novels without reading these essays because they just make so much sense. The central tenet about the writer and their ability to express the unexpressible aspects of themselves through their literary creations and in particular the character of Bertha Mason from Jane Eyre, is still breathtaking and brilliant. A must read for any serious students of nineteenth century literature.
on 26 May 2001
This is the sort of criticism that expands your impression of literature. The authors cast a fresh light on classic women's writing - Austen, the Brontes, etc - by examining how a woman writer's self-perception is shaped by patriarchy and a mysoginistic tradition, and that the anxiety caused by being 'unfeminine' can be found within the writing. It's also well written enough to be read for fun.
on 8 November 2013
Gilbert & Gubar have written an absolutely fantastic book here. There are a few separate sections, two of which are specifically focused on Frankenstein and Jane Eyre. The very appropriate title is aimed at Jane Eyre and what the authors do here is analyse these texts based on feminist trends and the treatment of insanity in these novels. It is very insightful and provides an eye for detail to the texts. Unlike most critical books like this, this is actually an enjoyable read. Fantastic, very happy with the purchase.
on 17 March 2015
A really informative look at feminist characters in fiction. I was using it to particularly focus on Bertha Mason from Jane Eyre, but it references a good range of female characters from many authors. It's quite lengthy, but if you're focusing on a particular topic area there's a useful index at the back to direct you to pages focusing on certain topics. Although it's quite dated now, it remains very relevant. Also references other critics to give you different views/interpretations, which helps when looking for other sources and research.
on 23 November 2012
The item came quickly with good packaging. The book is essential reading, especially for those studying english at uni. Highly detailed and interesting, the quality of the content extends throughout the great variety of authors, novels and characters. The focus on psychoanalytic and feminist approach is rewarding and fascinating. Would highly recommend this book for people who read a great deal of classic literature, anyone particularly focused on feminism and those studying english. However, despite being a big read it is engrossing so I would recommend it to many. Great book, will probably read it/ refer back to it many a time.