The Woman Question in Nineteenth-Century English, German and Russian Literature

(En)gendering Barriers


Kathryn Ambrose offers a new approach to the Woman Question in mid- to late-nineteenth-century English, German and Russian literature. Using a methodological framework based on feminist theory and post-structuralism, she provides a re-vision of canonical texts (such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, Effi Briest, Fathers and Children and Anna Karenina) alongside lesser-known works by Emily and Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy. Her exploration of the semiotics of barriers – as opposed to the established approach of the semiotics of space – makes for a rewarding reading of this period of literature and establishes new cross-cultural and literary connections between the three countries.
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Biographical Note

Kathryn Ambrose, Ph.D. (2010), Keele University, is an independent scholar. She has published articles and given papers on English, German and Russian literature, including “Turgenev’s Representation of the New People” (Rodopi, 2010).

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Brontë or Bell? Identity as Barrier in the Works of Charlotte and Emily Brontë
Chapter 2: George Eliot and the “Superfluous Woman”: A Subtle Means of Protest?
Chapter 3: Women in Theodor Storm: The Opposition of Conformity and Otherness
Chapter 4: From Sleeping Beauty to Career Woman: The Development of Women’s Roles in Theodor Fontane
Chapter 5: Turgenev and the Woman Question: Layering Barriers
Chapter 6: Tolstoy, Women and Barriers: Inflexible Closedness


All interested in mid- to late-nineteenth-century English, German and Russian literature, and anyone concerned with the Woman Question. Academic libraries, specialists, postgraduate and undergraduate students, educated laymen.