Victorian Autobiography Criticism: Autobiography And Gender - Essay

Estelle C. Jelinek (essay date 1986)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Jelinek, Estelle C. “The Nineteenth Century: New Voices.” In The Tradition of Women's Autobiography: From Antiquity to the Present, pp. 41-53. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1986.

[In the following excerpt, Jelinek surveys autobiographical writings by English women of the nineteenth century, concluding with a summary of their contributions to the genre.]

The subjective autobiographies of the eighteenth century had little if any influence on the autobiographies by women or men during the nineteenth century. The confessionals of Pilkington, Phillips, and Vane may have contributed to the development of the novel, but they had little effect on later autobiography....

(The entire section is 5424 words.)

Martin A. Danahay (essay date fall 1990)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Danahay, Martin A. “Class, Gender, and the Victorian Masculine Subject.” a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 5, no. 2 (fall 1990): 99-113.

[In the following essay, Danahay discusses the masculine, bourgeois ideals of individual autonomy constructed in the autobiographical works of Matthew Arnold, John Stuart Mill, and Edmund Gosse, comparing these with the feminine, communal subjectivity of Margaret Oliphant's Autobiography.]

The interrelated categories of class and gender have become increasingly subject to scrutiny in recent analyses of autobiography. Following the deconstruction of the concept of the unitary individual, criticism of autobiography has begun to...

(The entire section is 5919 words.)