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The sympathetic individualist: Ouida's late work and politics

The sympathetic individualist: Ouida's late work and politics

King, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0003-2348-4231 (2011) The sympathetic individualist: Ouida's late work and politics. Victorian Literature and Culture, 39 (2). pp. 563-579. ISSN 1060-1503 (Print), 1470-1553 (Online) (doi:

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For many years, the novels of Ouida (Maria Louise Ramé, 1839–1908), were rejected as offering nothing but commercially valuable “voluptuous daydreams” (Leavis 164) that catered to “the degenerate taste of the new reading public of the commercial middle class” (Elwin 282). Since the late 1980s, however, they have been read with renewed interest. Ouida has come to be recognised as a “forgotten mother” of the 1890s aesthetic movement (Schaffer, Female Aesthetes and “Origins”); as a significant player on the anti–feminist side in the New Woman debates of the 1890s (Gilbert); and, with seeming paradox, as a writer keen to explore sexual transgression (Jordan “Writings” and “Enigma”; Schroeder “Feminine”). While there has been a recent monograph on Ouida's fiction (Schroeder and Holt), her journalism remains largely ignored. In 1882, Ouida began to write literary criticism together with analyses and commentaries on the politics of the state and the organisation of society for several journals, including the Gentleman's Magazine, the Fortnightly Review, the Westminster Review, the North American Review and the Italian Nuova Antologia. This article examines Ouida's late journalism, with some adversion to her late fiction, in an attempt to establish her core set of political values at this time.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Online publication: May 18 2011. [2] Published in print in Victorian Literature and Culture, September 2011, Volume 39, Issue 2.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ouida, individualism, sympathy, Italy, politics, popular fiction, journalism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
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Last Modified: 03 Jan 2020 12:32

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