Disease and Literature Women And Disease In Literature - Essay

Women And Disease In Literature

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Diane Price Herndl

SOURCE: "The Writing Cure: Women Writers and the Art of Illness," in Invalid Women: Figuring Feminine Illness in American Fiction and Culture, 1840-1940, The University of North Carolina Press, 1993, pp. 110-40.

[In the following excerpt, Herndl discusses invalid women in nineteenth-century American life and literature.]

By the 1870s, the invalid had become such a popular object for both writers and artists that she was one of the most familiar cultural figures. Abba Goold Woolson devoted a whole chapter in Woman in American Society (1873) to "Invalidism as a Pursuit," in which she complained that "the familiar...

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