Michèle Roberts' third novel may be read as a more extensive examination of the questions about history and power raised at the end of her second novel, The Visitation. In The Wild Girl we also begin to see the technique employed in much of Roberts' later work: a combination of fictional narratives and historical sources which blur the boundaries of each. The Wild Girl is presented as a fifth gospel by Mary Magdalen, an alternative to canonical accounts of the life of Jesus. Susan Haskins, in Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor (London, 1993), is critical of this feminist fantasy:

The studied simplicity of the Magdalen's prose style is equalled only by the simplicity of the ideas of equality and love, and the what-might-have-been if patriarchy hadn't taken over. In the end, Michèle

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Citation: White, Rosemary. "The Wild Girl". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 February 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10197, accessed 10 December 2023.]

10197 The Wild Girl 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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