The Femme Fatale in Victorian Literature: The Danger and the Sexual Threat

by Jennifer Hedgecock


"Recommended." - CHOICE

"Jennifer Hedgecock's study of the Victorian 'femme fatale' is clearly a feminist study, and that means a Marxist study, of the difficult situation and limited options Victorian women faced in nineteenth century England, especially if they were from the lower middle and working class. But with the exception of an occasional concession to the ideologically charged linguistic coinages currently used to establish one's credentials as respectably 'politically correct,' Dr. Hedgecock spares us polemic. In fact, a reader is hard pressed to discern any ideology at work, feminist or otherwise. And that's as it should be. Instead of encountering the tidal pull of ideology, of being swept up and carried down by the currents of the zeitgeist as one does so often in contemporary criticism, the reader of The Femme Fatale in Victorian Literature bathes in the satisfying sensation of encountering Marxist criticism at its best, and that means old style criticism of a high order largely untouched by Foucault's post-structuralism or Derrida's deconstruction." - Victor Comerchero, Professor Emeritus of English, California State University, Sacramento


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