Romance : a gendered genre

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


This paper explores gendered narratives in A.S. Byatt’s Possession: A Romance. While Byatt does not see herself as a ‘feminist’ writer, her fiction speaks to her preoccupation with the complexities of women’s lives. In the first part of this paper, I consider how Byatt’s Victorian poetess Christabel LaMotte contends with and reaffirms romance’s expectations, arguing that LaMotte stands in for the historical Poetess figure and her tenuous relationship to femininity and creativity. I go on to demonstrate how LaMotte’s identification with the mythic Fairy Melusine, and her failed attempt to write an epic poem, reinforce LaMotte as the re-embodiment of the perpetually displaced Poetess.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-66
Number of pages14
JournalThe new collection
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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