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The Modern Short Story and Magazine Culture, 1880-1950$
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Elke D'hoker and Chris Mourant

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474461085

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474461085.001.0001

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The Short Story Series of Annie S. Swan for The Woman at Home

The Short Story Series of Annie S. Swan for The Woman at Home

(p.44) Chapter 2 The Short Story Series of Annie S. Swan for The Woman at Home
The Modern Short Story and Magazine Culture, 1880-1950

Elke D’hoker

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter investigates the ten short story series about working women which the Scottish popular novelist, Annie S. Swan published in the women’s magazine, The Woman at Home, between 1893 and 1918. The format of the short story series, pioneered by Conan Doyle in The Strand, lent itself particularly well to periodical publication given its patterning of periodicity and repetition with variation. The chapter shows how Swan drew on these features to depict the experiences of professional and working women while deferring the closure of the marriage plot. Although the individual stories are often moralizing, predictable and conservative in their foregrounding of women as wives and mothers, the series in their entirety emphasise the expertise and professionalism of their female protagonists. In seeking to marry an advocacy for women’s work with a more traditional domestic ideology, Swan’s story series participate in The Woman at Home’s middlebrow negotiation of the new gender roles and feminine ideals that were being debated at the time.

Keywords:   short story series, women’s magazines, working women, domestic ideology, middlebrow, The Woman at Home, Annie S. Swan, periodicity, gender politics

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