Unbecoming Women: British Women Writers and the Novel of Development

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Is there a "female Bildungsroman "? Can the story of Elizabeth Bennet's development be yoked to a genre conceived in terms of Wilhelm Meister and David Copperfield? Unbecoming Women unpacks the ideological baggage of the Bildungsroman , and turns to novels of development and conduct books by women for a new poetics of growing up. In a subtle reading of works by Frances Burney, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and George Eliot, Susan Fraiman argues that a heroine's progress toward masterful selfhood is by no means assured ...

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