California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Houston, Gail Turley, 1950-
Title Victorian women writers, radical grandmothers, and the gendering of God / Gail Turley Houston.
Published Columbus : Ohio State University Press, c2013.
Book Cover

 Floor4  PR115 .H68 2013    IN LIBRARY
Description xi, 181 p. ; 23 cm.
Series Literature, religion, and postsecular studies
Literature, religion, and postsecular studies.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. 145-170) and index.
Contents Introduction : antecedents of the Victorian "goddess story" -- "Gods of the old mythology arise" : Charlotte Brontë's vision of the "goddess story" -- Feminist reincarnations of the Madonna : Anna Jameson and ecclesiastical debates on the immaculate conception -- Invoking "all the godheads" : Elizabeth Barrett Browning's polytheistic aesthetic -- Eve, the female messiah, and the Virgin in Florence Nightingale's personal and public papers -- Ariadne and the Madonna : the hermeneutics of the goddess in George Eliot's Romola.
Summary "If Victorian women writers yearned for authorial forebears, or, in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's words, for "grandmothers," there were, Gail Turley Houston argues, grandmothers who in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries envisioned powerful female divinities that would reconfigure society. Like many Victorian women writers, they experienced a sense of what Barrett Browning termed "mother-want" inextricably connected to "mother-god-want." These millenarian and socialist feminist grandmothers believed the time had come for women to initiate the earthly paradise that patriarchal institutions had failed to establish. Recuperating a symbolic divine in the form of the Great Mother--a pagan Virgin Mary, a female messiah, and a titanic Eve--Joanna Southcott, Eliza Sharples, Frances Wright, and others set the stage for Victorian women writers to envision and impart emanations of puissant Christian and pagan goddesses, enabling them to acquire the authorial legitimacy patriarchal culture denied them. Though the Victorian authors studied by Houston--Barrett Browning, Charlotte Brontë, Florence Nightingale, Anna Jameson, and George Eliot--often masked progressive rhetoric, even in some cases seeming to reject these foremothers, their radical genealogy reappeared in mystic, metaphysical revisions of divinity that insisted that deity be understood, at least in part, as substantively female." -- Publisher's description.
Subject English literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
English literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
Women authors, English -- 19th century.
Religion and literature.
Religion in literature.
Goddess religion in literature.
Brontë, Charlotte, 1816-1855 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Jameson, Mrs. (Anna), 1794-1860 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Eliot, George, 1819-1880 -- Criticism and interpretation.
ISBN 9780814212103 cloth alkaline paper
0814212107 cloth alkaline paper
9780814293126 cd
0814293123 cd
Standard # 40022472262
OCLC number 810039752