Valentina Perozzo

Women Novelists in fin de siècle Italy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Nineteenth Century; Modernity; Women Artists.

The article analyzes the phenomenon of the women novelists in late nineteenth century Italy from a quantitative, geographical and sociological point of view, with a particular attention to the strategies that these women adopted to succeed in an essentially male field. Between 1870 and 1899, 1.051 Italian women writers published 2.545 new novels: this research is focused on a database that collects information about those books and their authors. In late nineteenth century Italy, the novel is enjoying a boom; as a commercial product, it provides earnings to writers and publishers. At the same time, it was turning into a credible artistic object, capable of giving luster to Italy in the European context. In this period, an increasing number of women wrote and published novels. In such a literarily provincial country as Italy, their presence in the field of the novel was encouraged as a sign of modernity. At the same time they faced strong opposition, based on the alleged inadequacy of women as novelists and, more generally, as «true» artists.

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