Mary Augusta Ward's 'Perfect Economist' and the Logic of Anti-Suffragism

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Abstract

This article exposes the engagement of Mary Augusta Ward’s Marcella (1894) with the emergent academic discipline of economics, drawing connections between Ward’s influential novel and texts by the economic thinkers John Ruskin, Beatrice Webb, and Alfred Marshall. Marcella, I contend, represents gendered forms of economic knowledge, and this representation expresses the often misunderstood “difference feminism” that informs both Ward’s anti-suffrage stance and her advocacy for women’s education. Bringing together historical scholarship on the professionalization of economics and literary scholarship on nineteenth-century feminisms, this reading of Ward’s novel proposes that economic learning plays an important role in the thinking that shapes the British anti-suffrage movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1213-1238
Number of pages27
JournalELH: English Literary History
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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