A woman('s) writer?, some issues in feminist reading of the work of Rosamond Lehmann

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 1995
Thesis identifier
  • T8662
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • The first section of the thesis begins by examining the question of the textual pleasure of Lehmann's writing and discussing the relationship between emotive and academic reactions to texts. It goes on to describe the double critical standard which operates in criticism of Lehmann's texts, that is, the way that her work has been labelled as "feminine" and therefore second-rate. The introduction to the section concludes by examining feminist, and other, attitudes towards femininity and arguing that femininity should be reclaimed by feminism as a valuable textual force. Chapters 1 and 2 discuss the treatment of femininity in Lehmann's short story "When the Waters Came" and her novel, The Ballad and the Source. The second section continues to investigate and interrogate the ways in which textual femininity has been discussed and evaluated, particularly in the modern period. It posits a notion of gender as a (more or less) controlled performance as a counter-argument against all those who devalue aspects of femininity and argue that women are necessarily overwhelmed by their own femininity Chapters 3 and 4 examine the modes of gender performance and feminine identity presented in Lehmann's work, drawing upon the work of Luce Irigaray and Helane Cixous to argue that the feminine identity presented in Invitation to the Waltz and The Swan in the Evening is both performative and relational. The final section expands the discussion of relational identity. The introduction to the section examines some theories of feminine ethics and argues that the moral vision of Lehmann's work lies in its representation and enactment of female-to-female bonds. Chapters 5 and 6, discussing Dusty Answer and The Echoing Grove, argue that Lehmann has used the genre of romantic fiction while critiquing the centrality of heterosexual relationships and both representing and enacting alternative, female-centred relationships.
Resource Type
  • Strathclyde theses - ask staff. Thesis no. : T8662
Date Created
  • 1995
Former identifier
  • 500205