Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2013


Melissa Purdue analyzes Sarah Grand’s semi-autobiographical The Beth Book (1897), “a New Woman novel deeply concerned with money—particularly women’s lack of it,” which finds its central metaphor in the book’s “discourse about hungry bodies, food, and consumption.” Grand celebrates her protagonist Beth’s proactive attitude toward money, indicating a larger shift in New Woman literature towards an endorsement of women earning their own money while also caring for others. As The Beth Book demonstrates, Purdue writes, “financial independence and what one does with money, rather than one’s distance from money, become important signals of feminine virtue in New Woman literature.”

Publication Title

The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies