An exploration of the parallels between the ends of the 19th and 20th centuries and their representations in art, literature and film, this book asks whether the approaching millennium signals a beginning or points grimly to an end, and whether the ends of centuries are merely imaginery borderlines in time, or cycles, such as the crises of the “fin de siecle” and the sense of ending so ominously present in the works of contemporary writers and artists. The novelist George Gissing remarked that the 1880s and 1890s were decades of sexual anarchy, when the notions of gender that governed sexual identity and behaviour were being constantly eroded. It was a time when the words “feminism” and “homosexuality” came into use, redefining accepted ideas of masculine and feminine, and a time when the “emancipated woman” was viewed as a threat to family stability. That was nearly 100 years ago, and in this book the author points out the similarity between that time and this time.
The sexual abuse of children and the increasing frequency of rape; the censoring of art and the banning of pornography; anti-abortion campaigns and the AIDs epidemic – these late-20th-century crises are, the author suggests, comparable to their “fin de siecle” counterparts. Elaine Showalter is also the author of “A Literature of Their Own: Women Writers from Bronte to Lessing” and “The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830 – 1980”.
Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. In a near fine colour illustrated dust wrapper, which retains the original publisher’s printed price of £15.99 net. First Edition. First impression of the true first edition. Near fine in red cloth-covered boards with gilt titles to the spine. The gilt is bright. Corners sharp. Boards clean and unmarked. Spine tight. No inscriptions. Pages clean, except for very small publishers sticker 7cm across x 3cm down on front page, but doesn’t take away from this beautiful book, lightly printed. No marks. No fading. No tears. 242 pages all white fresh and crisp free from any inscriptions