A Web of Relationship: Women in the Short Fiction of Mary by Mary R. Reichardt

By Mary R. Reichardt

Insights right into a rediscovered author's revealing pictures of latest England girls

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Extra resources for A Web of Relationship: Women in the Short Fiction of Mary Wilkins Freeman

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No one speaks of her. What this means I do not know" (129). Though a virtual recluse in her last few years, Mary Wilkins Freeman's artistic vision never failed her; at her death she was considering both a sequel to Pembroke and an autobiography requested by Harper's. Mary Wilkins Freeman was a woman with a story to tell, a rags-to-riches phenomenon acutely sensitive to the mystery of life's vicissitudes. Dependent and independent, feminine and businesslike, poverty-stricken at one time and wealthy and famous at another, her "double vision" enhanced both her remarkable power of observation and her sympathetic identification with others, enabling her to explore and elucidate women's relationships in turn-of-the-century New England.

E. Page vii Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction xi 1. Backgrounds 3 2. Contexts 18 3. Women as Daughters in the Family: "The Web of Self-Strangulation" 44 4. Women, Men, and Marriage: "Reckoning Them in with Providence" 74 5. Women as Friends and Rivals: "Friend of My Heart" 102 6. Women Alone: "I Hadn't Orter Feel This Way" 125 Conclusion 152 Appendix: Bibliography of Mary Wilkins Freeman's Works 157 Notes 171 Works Cited 177 Index 181 Page ix Acknowledgments Parts of the following chapters appeared in earlier forms in journals and collections.

Is in some sense a story of the woman writer's quest for her own story; it is the story, in other words, of the woman's quest for self-definition" (76). The woman writer, it may be said, tends to use her work whatever its overt sequence of events to create and explore various possible versions of self.  Thus the author may define herself through the text while creating her female hero" (187). "The hero is her author's daughter," Gardiner posits; a woman writer forms a distinctive, nurturing-like relationship with her female characters.

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