The Odd Women

George Gissing - Author

Elaine Showalter - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780140433791 | 416 pages | 01 Aug 1994 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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'So many odd women - no making a pair with them ... The pessimists call them useless, lost, futile lives' Two such 'odd' women, women suffering the humiliation of being elderly and unmarried in Victorian society, are Virginia and Alice Madden, eking out a tiny income in a stifling and genteel boarding house. Their younger sister Monica escaped into a loveless marriage and is paying a bitter price.Through their friend Rhoda Nunn, a daring feminist whose mission is to educate spinsters for the independent lives they must lead, they are made aware of the depth of their oppression. But when Rhoda falls in love, she is forced to re-examine her life and arrive at a decision that is true to herself. In its fierce criticism of a society that encouraged the oppression of women and consequently the arrogance and cruelty of men, The Odd Women (1893) was astonishingly ahead of its time, and vividly reminds us that feminism is not a new concern. It is also an unflinching examination of the dilemma of choosing between one's desires and one's principles.