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Linton, Eliza Lynn

DEBORAH T. MEEM


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By the time Eliza Lynn Linton died in 1898, she was known as England's foremost antifeminist. Her reputation as a misogynist rests mainly upon the notorious “Girl of the Period” (GOP) essays that appeared in Saturday Review in the 1860s and 1870s (see Linton 1868 ). In those articles she pilloried all kinds of women: those who marry for money; those who wear outlandish clothing and makeup; those who “shriek” on behalf of women's rights; those who feign youth in middle age; those who blindly follow the fashions of the day; those who are idle; and so forth. In later years she attacked the New Woman, who seemed to her bent on blurring gender and class boundaries – playing sports and hunting, attending university, smoking and drinking, and generally establishing a life outside the home. It is no accident that Nancy Fix Anderson titled her biography of Linton Woman against Women in Victorian England . But many have observed that Linton herself was an independent woman, the very type she was so ready to castigate in her essays. Linton's long life, which included many peculiar and unconventional episodes, and her writing, which gained her fame but also general disparagement and ridicule, were characterized by inconsistency. Eliza Lynn was born in 1822, in Keswick. She was the last of twelve children born to Charlotte Alicia Lynn and the Rev. James Lynn. Charlotte Lynn died when Eliza ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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