Mrs Humphry Ward, Marcella

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Marcella (1894) is the third of Ward’s five originally bestselling and best-regarded novels, with Sir George Tressady (1896) its weaker sequel. The quick, cheap, one-volume reprint of Marcella ended the dominance in Britain of the expensive three-decker and the major lending libraries’ consequent near-monopoly and power of censorship (Sutherland, 1990, pp. 147-8). Like the previous two novels, Robert Elsmere and The History of David Grieve, Marcella is a bildungsroman, but this time about a female protagonist. Developing from aspiring Lady Bountiful in the country to socialist district nurse in London, to reformist bride of the leading aristocrat of the county, Marcella rehearses the conflicting roles of the Victorian woman and the New Woman. Linking a romance plot with a political…

1940 words

Citation: Argyle, Gisela. "Marcella". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 September 2013 [, accessed 06 December 2023.]

3742 Marcella 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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