History Literature / SillyNovelsByLadyNovelists

18th Aug '16 6:59:04 PM Goldfritha
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* StarvingArtist: Subverted; the essay skewers the romantic notion that lady novelists are poor but determined women writing to make a living.

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* StarvingArtist: Subverted; Invoked as if subverted; the essay skewers claims, ironically, that the romantic notion that lady novelists are poor but determined women writing to make a living.living is subverted by the upper crust settings. Later, dealing with a specific author, she observes that the dialog she writes shows her to be lower middle class.
18th Mar '16 8:18:13 AM Goldfritha
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* BigFancyHouse



We may remark, by the way, that we have been relieved from a serious scruple by discovering that silly novels by lady novelists rarely introduce us into any other than very lofty and fashionable society. We had imagined that [[StarvingArtist destitute women turned novelists, as they turned governesses, because they had no other "ladylike" means of getting their bread.]] On this supposition, vacillating syntax, and improbable incident had a certain pathos for us, like the extremely supererogatory pincushions and ill-devised nightcaps that are offered for sale by a blind man. We felt the commodity to be a nuisance, but we were glad to think that the money went to relieve the necessitous, and we pictured to ourselves lonely women struggling for a maintenance, or wives and daughters devoting themselves to the production of "copy" out of pure heroism--perhaps to pay their husband's debts or to purchase luxuries for a sick father. Under these impressions we shrank from criticising a lady's novel: her English might be faulty, but we said to ourselves her motives are irreproachable; her imagination may be uninventive, but her patience is untiring. Empty writing was excused by an empty stomach, and twaddle was consecrated by tears. But no! This theory of ours, like many other pretty theories, has had to give way before observation. Women's silly novels, we are now convinced, are written under totally different circumstances. The fair writers have evidently never talked to a tradesman except from a carriage window; they have no notion of the working-classes except as "dependents;" they think five hundred a year a miserable pittance; Belgravia and "baronial halls" are their primary truths; and they have no idea of feeling interest in any man who is not at least a great landed proprietor, if not a prime minister. It is clear that they write in elegant boudoirs, with violet-colored ink and a ruby pen; that they must be entirely indifferent to publishers' accounts, and inexperienced in every form of poverty except [[TakeThat poverty of brains]]. It is true that we are constantly struck with the want of verisimilitude in their representations of the high society in which they seem to live; but then they betray no closer acquaintance with any other form of life. If their peers and peeresses are improbable, their literary men, tradespeople, and cottagers are impossible; and their intellect seems to have the peculiar impartiality of reproducing both what they ''have'' seen and heard, and what they have ''not'' seen and heard, with equal unfaithfulness.

to:

We may remark, by the way, that we have been relieved from a serious scruple by discovering that silly novels by lady novelists rarely introduce us into any other than very lofty and fashionable society. We had imagined that [[StarvingArtist destitute women turned novelists, as they turned governesses, because they had no other "ladylike" means of getting their bread.]] On this supposition, vacillating syntax, and improbable incident had a certain pathos for us, like the extremely supererogatory pincushions and ill-devised nightcaps that are offered for sale by a blind man. We felt the commodity to be a nuisance, but we were glad to think that the money went to relieve the necessitous, and we pictured to ourselves lonely women struggling for a maintenance, or wives and daughters devoting themselves to the production of "copy" out of pure heroism--perhaps to pay their husband's debts or to purchase luxuries for a sick father. Under these impressions we shrank from criticising a lady's novel: her English might be faulty, but we said to ourselves her motives are irreproachable; her imagination may be uninventive, but her patience is untiring. Empty writing was excused by an empty stomach, and twaddle was consecrated by tears. But no! This theory of ours, like many other pretty theories, has had to give way before observation. Women's silly novels, we are now convinced, are written under totally different circumstances. The fair writers have evidently [[LowerClassLout never talked to a tradesman except from a carriage window; they have no notion of the working-classes except as "dependents;" "dependents"]]; [[RichInDollarsPoorInSense they think five hundred a year a miserable pittance; pittance]]; [[BigFancyHouse Belgravia and "baronial halls" are their primary truths; truths]]; and they have no idea of feeling interest in any man who is not at least a great landed proprietor, if not a prime minister. It is clear that they write in elegant boudoirs, with violet-colored ink and a ruby pen; that they must be entirely indifferent to publishers' accounts, and inexperienced in every form of poverty except [[TakeThat poverty of brains]]. It is true that we are constantly struck with the want of verisimilitude in their representations of the high society in which they seem to live; but then they betray no closer acquaintance with any other form of life. If their peers and peeresses are improbable, their literary men, tradespeople, and cottagers are impossible; and their intellect seems to have the peculiar impartiality of reproducing both what they ''have'' seen and heard, and what they have ''not'' seen and heard, with equal unfaithfulness.
12th Oct '15 6:02:26 PM Goldfritha
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When men see girls wasting their time in consultations about bonnets and ball dresses, and in giggling or sentimental love-confidences, or middle-aged women mismanaging their children, and solacing themselves with acrid gossip, they can hardly help saying, "For Heaven's sake, let girls be better educated; let them have some better objects of thought--some more solid occupations." But after a few hours' conversation with an oracular literary woman, or a few hours' reading of her books, they are likely enough to say, "After all, when a woman gets some knowledge, see what use she makes of it! Her knowledge remains acquisition instead of passing into culture; instead of being subdued into modesty and simplicity by a larger acquaintance with thought and fact, she has a feverish consciousness of her attainments; she keeps a sort of mental pocket-mirror, and is continually looking in it at her own 'intellectuality;' she spoils the taste of one's muffin by questions of metaphysics; 'puts down' men at a dinner-table with her superior information; and seizes the opportunity of a ''soirée'' to catechise us on the vital question of the relation between mind and matter. And then, look at her writings! She mistakes vagueness for depth, bombast for eloquence, and affectation for originality; she struts on one page, rolls her eyes on another, grimaces in a third, and is hysterical in a fourth. She may have read many writings of great men, and a few writings of great women; but she is as unable to discern the difference between her own style and theirs as a Yorkshireman is to discern the difference between his own English and a Londoner's: rhodomontade is the native accent of her intellect. No--the average nature of women is too shallow and feeble a soil to bear much tillage; it is only fit for the very lightest crops."

to:

When men see girls wasting their time in consultations about bonnets and ball dresses, and in giggling or sentimental love-confidences, or middle-aged women mismanaging their children, and solacing themselves with [[MaliciousSlander acrid gossip, gossip]], they can hardly help saying, "For Heaven's sake, let girls be better educated; let them have some better objects of thought--some more solid occupations." But after a few hours' conversation with an oracular literary woman, or a few hours' reading of her books, they are likely enough to say, "After all, when a woman gets some knowledge, see what use she makes of it! Her knowledge remains acquisition instead of passing into culture; instead of being subdued into modesty and simplicity by a larger acquaintance with thought and fact, she has a feverish consciousness of her attainments; she keeps a sort of mental pocket-mirror, and is continually looking in it at her own 'intellectuality;' she spoils the taste of one's muffin by questions of metaphysics; 'puts down' men at a dinner-table with her superior information; and seizes the opportunity of a ''soirée'' to catechise us on the vital question of the relation between mind and matter. And then, look at her writings! She mistakes vagueness for depth, bombast for eloquence, and affectation for originality; she struts on one page, rolls her eyes on another, grimaces in a third, and is hysterical in a fourth. She may have read many writings of great men, and a few writings of great women; but she is as unable to discern the difference between her own style and theirs as a Yorkshireman is to discern the difference between his own English and a Londoner's: rhodomontade is the native accent of her intellect. No--the average nature of women is too shallow and feeble a soil to bear much tillage; it is only fit for the very lightest crops."
12th Oct '15 5:05:49 PM Goldfritha
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[[MundaneMadeAwesome The slightest matters have their vulgarity fumigated out of them by the same elevated style.]] Commonplace people would say that a copy of Shakespeare lay on a drawing-room table; but the authoress of "The Enigma," bent on edifying periphrasis, tells you that there lay on the table, "that fund of human thought and feeling, which teaches the heart through the little name, 'Shakespeare.'" A watchman sees a light burning in an upper window rather longer than usual, and thinks that people are foolish to sit up late when they have an opportunity of going to bed; but, lest this fact should seem too low and common, it is presented to us in the following striking and metaphysical manner: "He marvelled--as a man ''will'' think for others in a necessarily separate personality, consequently (though disallowing it) in false mental premise--how differently ''he'' should act, how gladly ''he'' should prize the rest so lightly held of within." A footman--an ordinary Jeames, with large calves and aspirated vowels--answers the door-bell, and the opportunity is seized to tell you that he was a "type of the large class of pampered menials, who follow the curse of Cain--'vagabonds' on the face of the earth, and whose estimate of the human class varies in the graduated scale of money and expenditure. . . . These, and such as these, O England, be the false lights of thy morbid civilization!" We have heard of various "false lights," from Dr. Cumming to Robert Owen, from Dr. Pusey to the Spirit-rappers, but we never before heard of the false light that emanates from plush and powder.

to:

[[MundaneMadeAwesome The slightest matters have their vulgarity fumigated out of them by the same elevated style.]] Commonplace people would say that a copy of Shakespeare lay on a drawing-room table; but [[PurpleProse the authoress of "The Enigma," bent on edifying periphrasis, tells you that there lay on the table, "that fund of human thought and feeling, which teaches the heart through the little name, 'Shakespeare.'" '"]] A watchman sees a light burning in an upper window rather longer than usual, and thinks that people are foolish to sit up late when they have an opportunity of going to bed; but, lest this fact should seem too low and common, it is presented to us in the following striking and metaphysical manner: "He marvelled--as a man ''will'' think for others in a necessarily separate personality, consequently (though disallowing it) in false mental premise--how differently ''he'' should act, how gladly ''he'' should prize the rest so lightly held of within." A footman--an ordinary Jeames, with large calves and aspirated vowels--answers the door-bell, and the opportunity is seized to tell you that he was a "type of the large class of pampered menials, who follow the curse of Cain--'vagabonds' on the face of the earth, and whose estimate of the human class varies in the graduated scale of money and expenditure. . . . These, and such as these, O England, be the false lights of thy morbid civilization!" We have heard of various "false lights," from Dr. Cumming to Robert Owen, from Dr. Pusey to the Spirit-rappers, but we never before heard of the false light that emanates from plush and powder.
26th Sep '15 4:26:34 PM Micah
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* IgnorantOfTheirOwnIgnorance: Elliot suggests that the authors in question are so impressed by their own education and literacy that they don't realize how trite their ideas are or how poor their writing really is. He says that female authors with more skill and self awareness don't publish their writing at all; those with more than ''that'' write books which are actually good.

to:

* IgnorantOfTheirOwnIgnorance: Elliot suggests that the authors in question are so impressed by their own education and literacy that they don't realize how trite their ideas are or how poor their writing really is. He She says that female authors with more skill and self awareness don't publish their writing at all; those with more than ''that'' write books which are actually good.
25th Sep '15 8:13:10 PM ImpudentInfidel
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Added DiffLines:

* IgnorantOfTheirOwnIgnorance: Elliot suggests that the authors in question are so impressed by their own education and literacy that they don't realize how trite their ideas are or how poor their writing really is. He says that female authors with more skill and self awareness don't publish their writing at all; those with more than ''that'' write books which are actually good.
18th Sep '15 10:17:10 AM Micah
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* InformedAbility: Particularly her intellect. He does praise one author for realizing this and keeping it off-screen, which makes the dialog much more readable than that of authors who try to write their heroines as smarter than themselves.

to:

* InformedAbility: Particularly her intellect. He Eliot does praise one author for realizing this and keeping it off-screen, which makes the dialog much more readable than that of authors who try to write their heroines as smarter than themselves.
17th Sep '15 7:41:44 PM ImpudentInfidel
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* InformedAbility: Particularly her intellect.

to:

* InformedAbility: Particularly her intellect. He does praise one author for realizing this and keeping it off-screen, which makes the dialog much more readable than that of authors who try to write their heroines as smarter than themselves.


Added DiffLines:

* SmallReferencePools: While the depiction of the upper classes is unrealistic, the writers in question display utter ignorance of the rest of society.
26th Feb '15 5:18:43 PM Goldfritha
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Silly Novels by Lady Novelists are a genus with many species, determined by the particular quality of silliness that predominates in them--the frothy, the prosy, the pious, or the pedantic. But it is a mixture of all these--a composite order of feminine fatuity--that produces the largest class of such novels, which we shall distinguish as the ''mind-and-millinery'' species. The heroine is [[BlueBlood usually an heiress, probably a peeress in her own right]], with [[LoveDodecahedron perhaps a vicious baronet, an amiable duke, and an irresistible younger son of a marquis as lovers in the foreground, a clergyman and a poet sighing for her in the middle distance, and a crowd of undefined adorers dimly indicated beyond.]] Her eyes and her wit are both dazzling; her nose and her morals are alike free from any tendency to irregularity; she has a superb ''contralto'' and a superb intellect; she is perfectly well dressed and perfectly religious; she dances like a sylph, and reads the Bible in the original tongues. Or it may be that the heroine is not an heiress--that rank and wealth are the only things in which she is deficient; but she [[RagsToRoyalty infallibly gets into high society]], she has the triumph of refusing many matches and securing the best, and [[EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry she wears some family jewels or other as a sort of crown of righteousness at the end.]] Rakish men either bite their lips in impotent confusion at her repartees, or are touched to penitence by her reproofs, which, on appropriate occasions, rise to a lofty strain of rhetoric; indeed, there is a general propensity in her to make speeches, and to rhapsodize at some length when she retires to her bedroom. In her recorded conversations she is amazingly eloquent, and in her unrecorded conversations amazingly witty. She is understood to have a depth of insight that looks through and through the shallow theories of philosophers, and her superior instincts are a sort of dial by which men have only to set their clocks and watches, and all will go well. The men play a very subordinate part by her side. You are consoled now and then by a hint that they have affairs, which keeps you in mind that the working-day business of the world is somehow being carried on, but ostensibly [[CanonSue the final cause of their existence is that they may accompany the heroine on her "starring" expedition through life]]. [[LoveAtFirstSight They see her at a ball, and they are dazzled; at a flower-show, and they are fascinated; on a riding excursion, and they are witched by her noble horsemanship; at church, and they are awed by the sweet solemnity of her demeanor.]] She is the ideal woman in feelings, faculties, and flounces. For all this she as often as not [[WrongGuyFirst marries the wrong person to begin with]], and she suffers terribly from the plots and intrigues of the [[AristocratsAreEvil vicious baronet]]; but [[DeathOfTheHypotenuse even death has a soft place in his heart for such a paragon, and remedies all mistakes for her just at the right moment.]] The vicious baronet is sure to be [[DuelToTheDeath killed in a duel]], and the tedious husband dies in his bed [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy requesting his wife, as a particular favor to him, to marry the man she loves best]], and having already dispatched a note to the lover informing him of the comfortable arrangement. Before matters arrive at this desirable issue our feelings are tried by seeing the noble, lovely, and gifted heroine pass through many ''mauvais moments'', but we have the satisfaction of knowing that her sorrows are wept into embroidered pocket-handkerchiefs, that her fainting form reclines on the very best upholstery, and that whatever vicissitudes she may undergo, from being dashed out of her carriage to having her head shaved in a fever, [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished she comes out of them all with a complexion more blooming and locks more redundant than ever.]]

to:

Silly Novels by Lady Novelists are a genus with many species, determined by the particular quality of silliness that predominates in them--the frothy, the prosy, the pious, or the pedantic. But it is a mixture of all these--a composite order of feminine fatuity--that produces the largest class of such novels, which we shall distinguish as the ''mind-and-millinery'' species. The heroine is [[BlueBlood usually an heiress, probably a peeress in her own right]], with [[LoveDodecahedron perhaps a vicious baronet, an amiable duke, and an irresistible younger son of a marquis as lovers in the foreground, a clergyman and a poet sighing for her in the middle distance, and a crowd of undefined adorers dimly indicated beyond.]] Her eyes and her wit are both dazzling; her nose and her morals are alike free from any tendency to irregularity; she has a superb ''contralto'' and a superb intellect; she is perfectly well dressed and perfectly religious; she dances like a sylph, and reads the Bible in the original tongues. Or it may be that the heroine is not an heiress--that rank and wealth are the only things in which she is deficient; but she [[RagsToRoyalty infallibly gets into high society]], she has the triumph of refusing many matches and securing the best, and [[EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry she wears some family jewels or other as a sort of crown of righteousness at the end.]] Rakish men either bite their lips in impotent confusion at her repartees, or [[EasyEvangelism are touched to penitence by her reproofs, reproofs]], which, on appropriate occasions, rise to a lofty strain of rhetoric; indeed, there is a general propensity in her to make speeches, and to rhapsodize at some length when she retires to her bedroom. In her recorded conversations she is amazingly eloquent, and in her unrecorded conversations amazingly witty. [[FauxlosophicNarration She is understood to have a depth of insight that looks through and through the shallow theories of philosophers, and her superior instincts are a sort of dial by which men have only to set their clocks and watches, and all will go well. well]]. [[SatelliteCharacter The men play a very subordinate part by her side. side]]. You are consoled now and then by a hint that they have affairs, which keeps you in mind that the working-day business of the world is somehow being carried on, but ostensibly [[CanonSue the final cause of their existence existence]] is [[SatelliteLoveInterest that they may accompany the heroine on her "starring" expedition through life]]. [[LoveAtFirstSight They see her at a ball, and they are dazzled; at a flower-show, and they are fascinated; on a riding excursion, and they are witched by her noble horsemanship; at church, and they are awed by the sweet solemnity of her demeanor.]] She is the ideal woman in feelings, faculties, and flounces. For all this she as often as not [[WrongGuyFirst marries the wrong person to begin with]], and she suffers terribly from the plots and intrigues of the [[AristocratsAreEvil vicious baronet]]; but [[DeathOfTheHypotenuse even death has a soft place in his heart for such a paragon, and remedies all mistakes for her just at the right moment.]] The vicious baronet is sure to be [[DuelToTheDeath killed in a duel]], and the tedious husband dies in his bed [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy requesting his wife, as a particular favor to him, to marry the man she loves best]], and having already dispatched a note to the lover informing him of the comfortable arrangement. Before matters arrive at this desirable issue our feelings are tried by seeing the noble, lovely, and gifted heroine pass through many ''mauvais moments'', but we have the satisfaction of knowing that her sorrows are wept into embroidered pocket-handkerchiefs, that her fainting form reclines on the very best upholstery, and that whatever vicissitudes she may undergo, from being dashed out of her carriage to having her head shaved in a fever, [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished she comes out of them all with a complexion more blooming and locks more redundant than ever.]]
7th Dec '14 8:25:39 PM mlsmithca
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-->''They see her at a ball, and they are dazzled; at a flower-show, and they are fascinated; on a riding excursion, and they are witched by her noble horsemanship; at church, and they are awed by the sweet solemnity of her demeanor.''

to:

-->''They -->"They see her at a ball, and they are dazzled; at a flower-show, and they are fascinated; on a riding excursion, and they are witched by her noble horsemanship; at church, and they are awed by the sweet solemnity of her demeanor.''"



* MarySue [[invoked]]
** CanonSue: All the works are technically original fiction.

to:

* MarySue [[invoked]]
** CanonSue: All
MarySue: [[invoked]] Particularly CanonSue, as all the works are technically original fiction.



[[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotAwesome The slightest matters have their vulgarity fumigated out of them by the same elevated style.]] Commonplace people would say that a copy of Shakespeare lay on a drawing-room table; but the authoress of "The Enigma," bent on edifying periphrasis, tells you that there lay on the table, "that fund of human thought and feeling, which teaches the heart through the little name, 'Shakespeare.'" A watchman sees a light burning in an upper window rather longer than usual, and thinks that people are foolish to sit up late when they have an opportunity of going to bed; but, lest this fact should seem too low and common, it is presented to us in the following striking and metaphysical manner: "He marvelled--as a man ''will'' think for others in a necessarily separate personality, consequently (though disallowing it) in false mental premise--how differently ''he'' should act, how gladly ''he'' should prize the rest so lightly held of within." A footman--an ordinary Jeames, with large calves and aspirated vowels--answers the door-bell, and the opportunity is seized to tell you that he was a "type of the large class of pampered menials, who follow the curse of Cain--'vagabonds' on the face of the earth, and whose estimate of the human class varies in the graduated scale of money and expenditure. . . . These, and such as these, O England, be the false lights of thy morbid civilization!" We have heard of various "false lights," from Dr. Cumming to Robert Owen, from Dr. Pusey to the Spirit-rappers, but we never before heard of the false light that emanates from plush and powder.

to:

[[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotAwesome [[MundaneMadeAwesome The slightest matters have their vulgarity fumigated out of them by the same elevated style.]] Commonplace people would say that a copy of Shakespeare lay on a drawing-room table; but the authoress of "The Enigma," bent on edifying periphrasis, tells you that there lay on the table, "that fund of human thought and feeling, which teaches the heart through the little name, 'Shakespeare.'" A watchman sees a light burning in an upper window rather longer than usual, and thinks that people are foolish to sit up late when they have an opportunity of going to bed; but, lest this fact should seem too low and common, it is presented to us in the following striking and metaphysical manner: "He marvelled--as a man ''will'' think for others in a necessarily separate personality, consequently (though disallowing it) in false mental premise--how differently ''he'' should act, how gladly ''he'' should prize the rest so lightly held of within." A footman--an ordinary Jeames, with large calves and aspirated vowels--answers the door-bell, and the opportunity is seized to tell you that he was a "type of the large class of pampered menials, who follow the curse of Cain--'vagabonds' on the face of the earth, and whose estimate of the human class varies in the graduated scale of money and expenditure. . . . These, and such as these, O England, be the false lights of thy morbid civilization!" We have heard of various "false lights," from Dr. Cumming to Robert Owen, from Dr. Pusey to the Spirit-rappers, but we never before heard of the false light that emanates from plush and powder.
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