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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay focuses on the powerful grip anxieties about ageing had on the increasingly diverse field of texts associated with the New Woman. A number of women poets from the period seem uniquely aware of the potential consequences for single women when they transition from being a ‘young person’ to being a spinster. Novelists of the period emphasized effects of ageing not only as a physical phenomenon, but also as an affective, social, economic, and relational influence that affected a character’s identity and options as profoundly as gender and sexuality. Nowhere is the fear of ageing more prominent than in those novels where New Women characters and plots intersect with late nineteenth-century Gothic fiction, whether the Gothic setting is the urban or actual jungle.

Keywords: New Woman, Victorian, novels, urban, Gothic, sexuality, gender, body, ageing, aging

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