EMILY BRONTË:

THE ARTIST AS A FREE WOMAN

 

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1 Stevie Davies's book is as good as anything done on Emily Brontë in recent years. Its feminism is insightful but without the uncompromising stridency of Sandra Gilbert and Susan Guber's The Madwoman in the Attic. (CH, Jan '80). Davies's approach to Wuthering Heights resembles Richard Benvenuto's in Emily Brontë (CH, Oct '82), while being more thorough and adventuresome. Part 1 convincingly relates Brontë's life to her writings. Part 2 introduces the themes and techniques of her poetry. Part 3 deals with four central concerns in Wuthering Heights: "Baby-Work" (the myth of rebirth), "In at the Window" (rites of passage and the importance of enclosures), "This Lamb of Yours" (the unity of the spiritual, animal, and mineral worlds of the novel), and "The Mother Beneath the Earth" (the interconnectedness of the generations). This book is unusual in being a serious, scholarly work although omitting all prefatory matter, footnotes, bibliography, or index. Nevertheless, Davies is obviously well versed in previous Brontë criticism, and her mastery of a complex argument is impressively sure-handed. Everyone who reads this book will learn from it, but it should prove especially helpful to undergraduates both in stimulating their thinking and in providing a model for their own criticism. For all libraries.
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This entire presentation Copyright © Stevie Davies