Institute of English StudiesUniversity of Warsaw

Anglica. An International Journal of English Studies 28/1, Siber

Anglica. An International Journal of English Studies 28/1

Mouloud Siber
Female Colonial Travel Writing as a Critique of Victorian Gender Stereotypes and Roles:
A Case Study of F.D. Bridges’s Journal of a Lady’s Travels Round the World (1883)
Anglica. An International Journal of English Studies 28/1: 63-76

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7311/0860-5734.28.1.05

Abstract:
Making recourse to Virginia Woolf’s “Professions for Women” (1931), I have studied the manner in which F.D. Bridges criticizes the patriarchal representations of Victorian women in her Journal of a Lady’s Travels Round the World (1883). In her text, she not only accounts for her experiences of travel in foreign countries but also inserts a discourse that lies counter to male definitions of women’s roles as “household angels,” confined in the domestic space and deprived of power. With the strength she demonstrates through her experiences of travel, she criticizes the fact that women are considered to be ‘the weaker sex.’ She also cultivates a quest for knowledge so as to carve her place in the ‘public sphere’ of knowledge and power and to criticize the practice of representing women as uneducated and ignorant. Last but not least, she highlights the degraded condition of the foreign women in an attempt to call for a universal enfranchisement of women abroad and in her country. All the three elements allow Bridges to fight against the “phantom” of the “angel in the house,” which, according to Woolf, needed to be “killed” in order for a woman to impose her authorship.

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