A Liminal Movement: Kinetics, Ethics, and Aesthetics in the Short Fiction of Yellow Book Writers Ella D'Arcy and Mrs. Murray Hickson

Leda Kalogeropoulou-Mellou

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis studies Ella D’Arcy and Mrs. Murray Hickson, two important albeit forgotten women writers of the Yellow Book, one of the most famous and influential periodical of the 1890s. The study finds its place among recent academic interest in the subject of the emergence of the woman writer and especially her presence and influence in periodicals.

By making use of both their short stories and their letters to the publisher John Lane, the thesis aims to address the issue of the professional woman writer in the context of new journalism and the criticism against it due to its association with the newly developed educated masses. It then moves on to a socioeconomic evaluation of the periodical, that the women studied here were contributing to, seen as a commodity and the implications of the capitalist literary marketplace on their writing.

Their relative obscurity in their respective fields, in terms of their historical significance, lies in the unconventional combination of style and content in their work: refusing to adhere to the limitations enforced on by existing categories in defining the work. Positioning itself in the theoretical context of liminality, the thesis seeks to examine the notion of movement. Movement is discussed in three interrelated ways; the circulation of the periodical, the new literary movement they were developing in their protomodernist approach to aesthetics and ethics, and finally, physical mobility in explorations of a changing urban/suburban space as reflected on language and style.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Livesey, Ruth, Supervisor
Award date1 Apr 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 8 Apr 2015

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