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Folklore in British Literature

Naming and Narrating in Women’s Fiction, 1750-1880

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Sarah R. Wakefield

Folklore provides a metaphor for insecurity in British women’s writing published between 1750 and 1880. When characters feel uneasy about separations between races, classes, or sexes, they speak of mermaids and «Cinderella» to make threatening women unreal and thus harmless. Because supernatural creatures change constantly, a name or story from folklore merely reinforces fears about empire, labor, and desire. To illustrate these fascinating rhetorical strategies, this book explores works by Sarah Fielding, Ann Radcliffe, Sydney Owenson, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Anne Thackeray, and Jean Ingelow, pushing our understanding of allusions to folktales, fairy tales, and myths beyond «happily ever after.»

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Works Cited 163

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Works Cited Addison, Joseph. The Spectator, No. 419 (1 Jul. 1712). The Spectator. Vol. 6. 8 vols. London: John C. Nimmo; New York: Longmans, Green, 1898. 112–115. Alexander, Christine. The Early Writings of Charlotte Brontë. New York: Prometheus Books, 1983. Anderson, Nancy Fix. “Cousin Marriage in Victorian Britain.” The Journal of Family History 11.3 (1986): 285–301. Armitt, Lucie. “Haunted Childhood in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette.” Yearbook of English Studies 32 (2002): 217–228. Arnold, Ellen. “Deconstructing the Patriarchal Palace: Ann Radcliffe’s Poetry in ‘The Mysteries of Udolpho.’” Women and Language 19.2 (1996): 21–29. Attebery, Brian. “Women’s Coming of Age in Fantasy.” Extrapolation 28.1 (1987): 10–22. Auerbach, Nina. Woman and the Demon: The Life of a Victorian Myth. Cambridge & London: Harvard University Press, 1982. Auerbach, Nina, and U.C. Knoepflmacher, eds. Forbidden Journeys: Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Victorian Women Writers. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1992. Auerbach, Jeffrey A. The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1999. Avery, Gillian and Julia Briggs, eds. Children and Their Books: A Celebration of the Work of Iona and Peter Opie. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. Avery, Gillian, and Margaret Kinnell. “Morality and Levity (1780–1820).” Hunt 46–76. Barczewski, Stephanie L. Myth as National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Beaty, Jerome. Misreading Jane Eyre: A Postformalist Paradigm. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1996. Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London & New York: Routledge, 1994. Bonaparte, Felicia. The Triptych...

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