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Life After Death: Widows and the English Novel, Defoe to Austen
by Karen Bloom Gevirtz
Life after Death shows how representations of the widow in the eighteenth-century novel express attitudes toward emerging capitalism and women's participation in it. Authors responded to the century's instability by using widows, who had the right to act economically and self-interestedly, to teach women that virtue meant foregoing the opportunities that the changing economy offered. Novelists thus helped to create expectations for women that linger today, and established the novel as a cultural arbiter.About the Author
Karen Bloom Gevirtz is assistant professor of English at Seton Hall University.
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