Jessie Fothergill: Kith and Kin

(2066 words)

Jessie Fothergill’s 1881 Kith and Kin has recently been republished as a scholarly edition by Pickering and Chatto, part of a nine-volume set titled Woman’s New Fiction (a definition of this term is provided in the series’ introduction by Carolyn W. de la L. Oulton). The novel does fit in this genre because of its date of publication, coupled with its challenge to traditional gender expectations, reflecting and contributing to the Women’s Movement.

The novel opens with a timely and fateful but unplanned rendezvous between an estranged grandson and grandfather. Bernard Aglionby works in a cotton goods store as a salesman, but he has political ambitions to help labourers gain more power and fairness. A…

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Ayres, Brenda. "Kith and Kin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 July 2010
[, accessed 02 December 2015.]