Neo-Victorian Heroine, Victorian Murderess



Rok publikování 2021
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Neo-Victorian works have repeatedly proven their significant position in the contemporary literary discourse. The revisitation, rediscovery and rewriting of the past open up possibilities to create characters that might have been previously overlooked and/or underdeveloped. As Adrienne Rich also notes in her essay “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision”, this tradition of revisionism is crucial for female characters. Peter Ackroyd´s novel Dan Leno and The Limehouse Golem (1994) (US title: The Trial of Elizabeth Cree) further proves this argument with the unconventional character Elizabeth Cree. This presentation argues that one of the instances when Elizabeth reveals her true nature is when she dresses as a man. What begins as a music hall performance evolves into a persona that lets the main character walk freely in the streets of London and explore her deviancy and satisfy her need to kill. Furthermore, the presentation will look into the illustrative examples in which Elizabeth judges other women. Her disgust arguably stems from the fact that they take on the role of the weaker sex and do not challenge it. Elizabeth, on the other hand, never subscribes to the conventional duties of a woman and later a wife. This further alienates her from other people who expect her to take on this role. With every new costume change and every new character she introduces, Elizabeth revises her life.
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