avoid and stay away from deliberately
Men, of course, are not snobs, I continued, carefully
eschewing 'the arrant feminism' of Miss Rebecca West; but they appreciate with sympathy for the most part the efforts of a countess to write verse.
a dissenting clique
And if someone would soar above the rest,
With warmer fancy, and ambition pressed,
So strong the opposing
faction still appears,
The hopes to thrive can ne'er outweigh the fears.
something immaterial that interferes with action or progress
Clearly her mind has by no means 'consumed all
impediments and become incandescent'.
going beyond what is appropriate, permitted, or courteous
Alas! a woman that attempts the pen,
presumptuous creature is esteemed,
The fault can by no virtue be redeemed.
Nor will in fading silks compose,
exaggerated flattery or praise
But how could she have helped herself? I asked, imagining the sneers and the laughter, the
adulation of the toadies, the scepticism of the professional poet.
a person who tries to please someone to gain an advantage
But how could she have helped herself? I asked, imagining the sneers and the laughter, the adulation of the
toadies, the scepticism of the professional poet.
motivation deriving from ethical or moral principles
She must have shut herself up in a room in the country to write, and been torn asunder by bitterness and
scruples perhaps, though her husband was of the kindest, and their married life perfection.
The employment, which was thus
censured, was, as far as one can see, the harmless one of rambling about the fields and dreaming...
But she became
diffuse, Mr. Murry says. Her gift is all grown about with weeds and bound with briars.
solidify, thicken, or come together
It poured itself out, higgledy-piggledy, in torrents of rhyme and prose, poetry and philosophy which stand
congealed in quartos and folios that nobody ever reads.
the quality of lacking taste and refinement
Sir Egerton Brydges complained of her
coarseness—'as flowing from a female of high rank brought up in the Courts'.
spend frivolously and unwisely
What a waste that the woman who wrote 'the best bred women are those whose minds are civilest' should have
frittered her time away scribbling nonsense and plunging ever deeper into obscurity and folly till the people crowded round her coach when she issued out.
a young woman
The heat of the day is spent in reading or working and about sixe or seven a Clock, I walke out into a Common that lyes hard by the house where a great many young
wenches keep Sheep and Cow's and sitt in the shades singing of Ballads...
of or associated with the great masses of people
Mrs. Behn was a middle-class woman with all the
plebeian virtues of humour, vitality and courage; a woman forced by the death of her husband and some unfortunate adventures of her own to make her living by her wits.
an illustration facing the title page of a book
Lady Dudley, sitting in diamonds among the midges of a Scottish moor, might serve for
dominance through threat of punishment and violence
despotism was in the nineteenth century too.
lacking in harmony or compatibility or appropriateness
Save for the possibly relevant fact that not one of them had a child, four more
incongruous characters could not have met together in a room—so much so that it is tempting to invent a meeting and a dialogue between them.
large in the amount that can be contained
Emily Brontë should have written poetic plays; the overflow of George Eliot's
capacious mind should have spread itself when the creative impulse was spent upon history or biography.
work up into agitation or excitement
Nobody knows how many rebellions
ferment in the masses of life which people earth.
an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event
One of them, it is true, George Eliot, escaped after much
tribulation, but only to a secluded villa in St. John's Wood.
enlightening or uplifting so as to encourage improvement
Had Tolstoi lived at the Priory in seclusion with a married lady 'cut off from what is called the world', however
edifying the moral lesson, he could scarcely, I thought, have written WAR AND PEACE.
a motley assortment of things
Or, This is a
farrago of absurdity. I could never feel anything of the sort myself.
exist in a changeless situation
She remembered that she had been starved of her proper due of experience—she had been made to
stagnate in a parsonage mending stockings when she wanted to wander free over the world.
a disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others
The whole structure, therefore, of the early nineteenth-century novel was raised, if one was a woman, by a mind which was slightly pulled from the straight, and made to alter its clear vision in
deference to external authority.
the act of placating and overcoming distrust and animosity
One has only to skim those old forgotten novels and listen to the tone of voice in which they are written to divine that the writer was meeting criticism; she was saying this by way of aggression, or that by way of
easily handled or managed
She met that criticism as her temperament dictated, with
docility and diffidence, or with anger and emphasis.
lack of self-assurance
She met that criticism as her temperament dictated, with docility and
diffidence, or with anger and emphasis.
someone who educates young people
Of all the thousand women who wrote novels then, they alone entirely ignored the perpetual admonitions of the eternal
pedagogue—write this, think that.
resembling an uncle in kindness or indulgence
They alone were deaf to that persistent voice, now grumbling, now patronizing, now domineering, now grieved, now shocked, now angry, now
avuncular, that voice which cannot let women alone, but must be at them, like some too-conscientious governess, adjuring them, like Sir Egerton Brydges, to be refined...
a woman who cares for and instructs a child in a household
They alone were deaf to that persistent voice, now grumbling, now patronizing, now domineering, now grieved, now shocked, now angry, now avuncular, that voice which cannot let women alone, but must be at them, like some too-conscientious
governess, adjuring them, like Sir Egerton Brydges, to be refined...
They alone were deaf to that persistent voice, now grumbling, now patronizing, now domineering, now grieved, now shocked, now angry, now avuncular, that voice which cannot let women alone, but must be at them, like some too-conscientious governess,
adjuring them, like Sir Egerton Brydges, to be refined...
counsel in terms of someone's behavior
admonishing them, if they would be good and win, as I suppose, some shiny prize, to keep within certain limits which the gentleman in question thinks suitable—'...female novelists should only aspire to excellence by courageously acknowledging the limitations of their sex'.
possessing or displaying courage
It would have needed a very
stalwart young woman in 1828 to disregard all those snubs and chidings and promises of prizes.
someone who deliberately foments trouble
One must have been something of a
firebrand to say to oneself, Oh, but they can't buy literature too.
study of the technique for using language effectively
[She] has a metaphysical purpose, and that is a dangerous obsession, especially with a woman, for women rarely possess men's healthy love of
marked by a desire for wealth and possessions
It is a strange lack in the sex which is in other things more primitive and more
marked by care and persistent effort
The ape is too distant to be
negligent of neatness especially in dress and person
All the great novelists like Thackeray and Dickens and Balzac have written a natural prose, swift but not
slovenly, expressive but not precious, taking their own tint without ceasing to be common property.
bring up a topic for discussion
I do not want, and I am sure that you do not want me, to
broach that very dismal subject, the future of fiction, so that I will only pause here one moment to draw your attention to the great part which must be played in that future so far as women are concerned by physical conditions.