Crafty Women and Artful Misses: Femininity, Feminism and Female Crafts in the Nineteenth-Century Novel

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

Clare Walker Gore is a postgraduate student at Selwyn College, Cambridge. She has recently submitted her PhD thesis, which explores disability in the Victorian novel. When she isn’t making grand plans for her next project on life-writing and disability in the nineteenth century, she is mostly to be found knitting and novel-reading. You can find her Academia.edu page here and on twitter here.

I suspect that my twin passions for Victorian novels and feminine crafts can both be traced back to Joan Aiken’s fabulous neo-Victorian children’s thriller, The Wolves of WilloughbyChase. I first read it at about seven, and was utterly enthralled. Among the many words and phrases for which I demanded explanation, or stored up for later use in my own literary endeavours –posset, pelisse, fowling-piece – one in particular stands out in my memory. Perhaps strangely, it is the catalogue of feminine…

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