The Story of a Modern Woman (Version 2)

Ella Hepworth Dixon (1857 - 1932)

“The Story of a Modern Woman” (1894) is a work of feminist social realism. In its time it was one of the most famous and influential novels to grow out of and shape the “New Woman” movement of the 1890s. It won such attention for its author that Ella Hepworth Dixon was given the nickname “The New Woman.” The story of the novel’s protagonist, Mary Erle, loosely follows the outline of Dixon’s own situation. As the well-educated daughter of a public intellectual, she enters the world of professional writing after his death, partly trading on his name. Victorian society had been distinctly patriarchal, and women were expected to find their places under the protection of men, traditionally defining themselves as wives and mothers. However, by the 1890s, an alarming “surplus” of unmarried women in Britain meant that many had statistically little chance of becoming anyone’s wife or mother, and must create for themselves other paths to meaningful existence. This new reality demanded a more complex understanding of life, with storylines more nuanced than the old “find-a-husband” fiction of earlier decades. “The Story of a Modern Woman” was published first in serial form, then released in the UK and the USA in two editions with some differences in the selection and arrangement of material. This LibriVox recording is based on the American edition. - Summary by Bruce Pirie

Genre(s): Literary Fiction, Published 1800 -1900

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 An End and a Beginning Bruce Pirie
00:19:59
Play 02 A Child Bruce Pirie
00:22:08
Play 03 Wonderings Bruce Pirie
00:16:37
Play 04 A Young Girl Bruce Pirie
00:17:07
Play 05 Alison Bruce Pirie
00:18:43
Play 06 Mary's Lover Bruce Pirie
00:18:32
Play 07 The Central London School of Art Bruce Pirie
00:14:59
Play 08 A Kettledrum at Lady Jane's Bruce Pirie
00:17:49
Play 09 Mary Tries to Live Her Life Bruce Pirie
00:15:44
Play 10 New Hopes Bruce Pirie
00:17:23
Play 11 In Grub Street Bruce Pirie
00:19:11
Play 12 The Woman Waits Bruce Pirie
00:19:16
Play 13 The Man Returns Bruce Pirie
00:19:24
Play 14 The Apotheosis of Perry Jackson Bruce Pirie
00:16:25
Play 15 Mary Goes Out on a Wet Day Bruce Pirie
00:15:09
Play 16 A Comedy in Real Life Bruce Pirie
00:19:16
Play 17 Two Ultimatums Bruce Pirie
00:16:06
Play 18 Number Twenty-seven Bruce Pirie
00:15:44
Play 19 Dunlop Strange Makes a Mistake Bruce Pirie
00:20:24
Play 20 Alison Arranges a Match Bruce Pirie
00:17:22
Play 21 The Gate of Silence Bruce Pirie
00:19:41
Play 22 The World Wags On Bruce Pirie
00:19:14
Play 23 In Which Civilization Triumphs Bruce Pirie
00:17:44
Play 24 The Woman in the Glass Bruce Pirie
00:22:16