Abstract

This is a comparison of Ella Hepworth Dixon's 1894 novel, The Story of a Modern Woman, and Marcelle Tinayre's La Rebelle, published in 1905. Arguing that these two examples of British and French New Woman fiction contain striking parallels in their incorporation of young female magazine journalists negotiating romance and reportage and attempting to balance public and private lives, this article suggests that Tinayre's novel reflects and modifies details found in the French translation of Dixon's text. The result is an analysis of the strategies employed by both writers, who provide their readers with young female protagonists who resist social and narrative norms, yet who offer relatively modest and acceptable forms of rebellion; focus thus falls on the connections and contrasts between French and Anglophone representations of the New Woman or the “femme moderne” in the fiction of the fin de siècle period, and the comparative female bildungsroman plots at work in the different cultures.

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