Wisps of Violence

Wisps of Violence:Producing Public and Private Politics in the Turn-Of-The-Century British Novel

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Interprets the image of turn-of-the-century politics produced in the fiction of writers such as Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Gertrude Dix and George Bernard Shaw. She examines the British novel as it tries to come to terms with the new politics, particularly in the area of gender relations.

Eric Hobsbawm characterized the period from 1880 to 1914 as "years when wisps of violence hung in the English air", years in which increasingly militant socialists, anarchists and feminists seriously threatened the peace. Sypher argues that, curiously, few novels of the period openly acknowledged this threat. In this book, she interprets the image of turn-of-the-century politics produced in the fiction of writers such as Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Gertrude Dix and George Bernard Shaw. She examines the British novel as it tries - and fails - to come to terms with the new politics, particularly in the area of gender relations.