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The Odd Women (Oxford World's Classics)…
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The Odd Women (Oxford World's Classics) (original 1893; edition 2008)

by George Gissing, Patricia Ingham (Editor)

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1,0502019,408 (3.89)105
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

One of the acknowledged masterpieces of Victorian-era literary realism, George Gissing's novel The Odd Women portrays the plight of unmarried women in nineteenth-century England, probing the question of the financial and psychological well-being of those who were not able to find suitable matches. Recognized by critics as an early feminist text, this novel is a must-read for fans of historicalâ??and socially significantâ??fiction… (more)

Member:oakgirl
Title:The Odd Women (Oxford World's Classics)
Authors:George Gissing
Other authors:Patricia Ingham (Editor)
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2008), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

The Odd Women by George Gissing (1893)

  1. 00
    Miss Miles: or, A Tale of Yorkshire Life 60 Years Ago by Mary Taylor (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: Miss Miles, published in 1890 and centered on "BrontĂ« country" in Yorkshire in the 1830s, was authored by Mary Taylor, who along with Ellen Nussey was one of Charlotte BrontĂ«'s two best friends from boarding-school days. It addresses the "women's issue" with particular emphasis on Taylor's belief that women had a moral obligation to be self-supporting and not to rely on men.… (more)
  2. 00
    Alas, Poor Lady by Rachel Ferguson (CurrerBell)
  3. 00
    Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (potenza)
    potenza: Vastly different period and style, yet a similar thematic demographic
  4. 00
    Gentleman Jack (season 1) [DVD] by Sally Wainwright (potenza)
    potenza: Different era and tone, but broadly, feminist social realism
  5. 00
    He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope (potenza)
    potenza: Both feature a Victorian bad marriage amidst female empowerment.
  6. 00
    The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope (potenza)
    potenza: I found a lot of the tone of the intractable Lily Dale and difficult relationships in The Odd Women.
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» See also 105 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This was a Victorian age read so named because it described the women who were not paired with men, the left-overs! I normally like Victorian novels, but Gissing is certainly no Trollope or Hardy. 3 stars barely (so many minor characters that it could be confusing) 285 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Dec 10, 2023 |
Very good. Recommended by Backlisted. ( )
  k6gst | Jan 19, 2023 |
Very enjoyable read. Brilliantly crafted and brazenly bold in it's message. On the cusp of the world recognizing and rewarding women's suffrage (New Zealand was the first country 1893), Gissing produces a cage-rattling piece of work that surely played a role in an evolving awakening and acceptance in the equality–if not superiority–of women and their place at the table. Terrific writing. ( )
  mortalfool | Jul 10, 2021 |
Monica deserved better ( )
  runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
I learned a lot about myself while reading this excellent book. I didn’t realize how completely conditioned I am to both expect and desire a conventional romantic “happy ending.”
Gissing’s story of several Victorian-era women who are “odd” in more than one sense is mesmerizing. The main character is Rhoda, a fiercely independent woman who eventually falls in love with a man. The working-out of their relationship forms the backbone of the book, but many other characters and plots are explored.
Although Rhoda and her friend Mary are on the upper side of middle class, Gissing includes several working-class women and their struggles; none are trivialized. He has a fascinating insight into women’s problems and ideas.
The weak spot of the book is a trite solution to a particular problem. But that solution is also realistic in its own way. All in all, this is a great exploration of the hopes, fears, and ideals of Victorian women. Be warned though, that it’s not in any sense a light read. ( )
  Matke | Dec 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George Gissingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fox, Marcia R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingham, PatriciaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Showalter, ElaineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walters, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welch, ChrisCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'So to-morrow, Alice,' said Dr Madden, as he walked with his eldest daughter on the coast -downs by Clevedon, 'I shall take steps for insuring my life for a thousand pounds.'
Ridiculed by men, treated with scornful anxiety by other women, the old maid is a traditional figure of fun. (Introduction)
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

One of the acknowledged masterpieces of Victorian-era literary realism, George Gissing's novel The Odd Women portrays the plight of unmarried women in nineteenth-century England, probing the question of the financial and psychological well-being of those who were not able to find suitable matches. Recognized by critics as an early feminist text, this novel is a must-read for fans of historicalâ??and socially significantâ??fiction

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Book description
"Questions of marriage don't interest me much . . . my work and thoughts are for the women who do not marry - the 'odd women' I call them..."
Set in London in the 1880's, this powerful novel tells the story of five of these 'odd women'. Alice and Virginia Madden are reduced to genteel poverty by the death of their improvident father; their pretty sister Monica chooses a loveless marriage to escape their fate; Rhoda Nunn and her friend Mary Barefoot devote their lives to helping young women find emotional as well as economic independence.

Rhoda is the embodiment of all that was meant by the New Woman - brave, spirited, feminine, seeking not to reject men, but to create for both sexes new ways of living, new freedoms from the old constraints, including, if necessary, marriage.  Into her life comes Mary's engaging and forceful cousin Everard.  Mutually attracted, they are drawn into a passionate struggle for supremacy from which Rhoda emerges with a new understanding of what love between man and woman can mean, and what its implications are for a woman determined also to be true to herself.

'It was for women Gissing reserved his fullest sympathy . . . In the Odd Women, he achieved one of the very few novels in English that can be compared with those of the French naturalists who were his contemporaries' ~Walter Allen
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