Date of Award
Master of Arts
This paper identifies and analyzes incidents of abuse directed towards women in nineteenth-century British fiction and shows that domestic violence was not limited to physical abuse. In works by leading authors of the Victorian era such as Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Anne Bronte, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, evidence of abuse included verbal and emotional abuse, involuntary confinement, sexual abuse and marital rape, and economic deprivation. This paper also reviews and discusses women's lack of rights under various marriage and divorce laws of the time period, especially for married and single women who were victims of domestic violence. Finally, this work demonstrates how the secrecy and shame surrounding abuse perpetuated the problem in the home and in the community, and how authors sought to lift the veil of secrecy to show that domestic violence of all types affected women of all social classes.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Lynn Renee Wingert
Wingert, Lynn Renee, "Battered, bruised, and abused women: domestic violence in nineteenth-century British fiction" (2007). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 14667.