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Portable ModernismsThe Art of Travelling Light$
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Emily Ridge

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419598

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419598.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

‘A purse of her own’: Women and Carriage

‘A purse of her own’: Women and Carriage

(p.66) 2 ‘A purse of her own’: Women and Carriage
Portable Modernisms

Emily Ridge

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 2 considers the emergence of the woman’s bag as a subversive emblem for female self-sufficiency from the late nineteenth century. It was an emblem taken up by a number of New Woman writers of fiction and non-fiction, from George Egerton to Nellie Bly. Giving an overview of the historical and rhetorical associations of women with baggage in the context of legal understandings of women’s property rights, the chapter also looks at fin de siècle and early-twentieth-century projections (both in literary works and satirical cartoons) of the disturbance caused by these modern women to traditional chivalry and associated fictional conventions. It asks why women’s portable property was often so pivotal in renderings of this disturbance. More specifically, it hones in on the work of one prominent modernist woman writer, Dorothy Richardson, whose use of a portable model in Pilgrimage goes hand in hand with her reinvention of the female subject. Finally, the chapter reflects on some of the problems faced by women beyond the domestic paradigm, considering the woman’s bag as an object of modernist conflict in texts by Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence.

Keywords:   bag, chivalry, D.H. Lawerence, Dorothy Richardson, Katherine Mansfield, New Woman, portable property, property rights, Virginia Woolf

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