Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2007

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Kathy Hickok

Abstract

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.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-15850

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/

Copyright Owner

Lynn Renee Wingert

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI1447519

OCLC Number

213358472

ISBN

9780549334750

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

73 pages

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