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.”
The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies
Purdue, M. (2013). 'She had suffered so many humiliations for want of money': The quest for financial independence in Sarah Grand’s The Beth Book. The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies, 5. http://www.thelatchkey.org/Latchkey5/essay/Purdue.htm
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Copyright © 2013 The Author.
Originally published in The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies, volume V, Summer 2013, http://www.thelatchkey.org/Latchkey5/essay/Purdue.htm.
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