The Language of Gender and Class challenges widely-held assumptions about the study of the Victorian novel. Lucid, multilayered and cogently argued, this volume will provoke debate and encourage students and scholars to rethink their views on ninteenth-century literature. Examining six novels, Patricia Ingham demonstrates that none of the writers, male or female, easily accept stereotypes of gender and class. The classic figures of Angel and Whore are reassessed and modified. And the result, argues Ingham, is that the treatment of gender by the late nineteenth century is released from its task of containing neutralising class conflict. New accounts of feminity can begin to emerge. The novels which Ingham studies are: * Shirley by Charlotter Bronte * North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell * Felix Holt by George Eliot * Hard Times by Charles Dickens * The Unclassed by George Gissing * Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

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