Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers? Redefining Gender, Gaze, and Photography in Amy Levy’s The Romance of a Shop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Amy Levy’s first novel, The Romance of a Shop, deserves a wider readership for various reasons: its unconventional characterization of female protagonists, its rich exploration of possibilities for female independence and liberation, the author’s insightful observation on social milieu and cultural changes, its lively mix of romance and realism, and the thoroughly outstanding storytelling. Oscar Wilde called the novel “a bright and clever story, full of sparkling touches.” Given that the privilege to get access to public space is exclusively afforded to men, women’s social isolation naturally leads to the impossibility of having mobile gaze, of experiencing the world firsthand. In this social-cultural context, photography offers women legitimate excuses to interact with the urban landscape and people, to negotiate their own place in the city. For instance, their job as photographers brings them the opportunities for social networking, to make the acquaintance of artists and celebrities such as Lord Watergate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen's Emancipation Writing at the Fin de Siecle
EditorsElena V. Shabliy, Dmitry Kurochkin, O'Donnell Karen
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter3
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780429026669
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature

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Cite this

Tseng, M. C-C. (2018). Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers? Redefining Gender, Gaze, and Photography in Amy Levy’s The Romance of a Shop. In E. V. Shabliy, D. Kurochkin, & OD. Karen (Eds.), Women's Emancipation Writing at the Fin de Siecle (Routledge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature). Routledge.