Bleak Houses: Doris Lessing, Margaret Drabble, and the Condition of England

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English (Scripps)

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Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


The condition of England has been of vital concern to novelists from Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskell, through John Mortimer, David Lodge, Martin Amis, and Hanif Kureishi. In the past few decades England's major women writers have taken it on. I will focus on two novels from the seventies, Doris Lessing's The Summer Before the Dark (1973) and Margaret Drabble's The Middle Ground (1980), and two from the eighties, Lessing's The Good Terrorist (1985) and Drabble's The Radiant Way (1987), all of which make their protagonists' problems and crises representative of England's and explore individual trajectories as indicating possibilities for social change.


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© 1992 Forum for Modem Language Studies

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