Incorporeal and Inspected:Aristocratic Female Bodies and the Gaze in the Works of Mrs Henry Wood


This article posits that sensation novelist Mrs Henry Wood, despite her complex representations of gender and class, articulated a proto-feminist stance through many of her works through the trope of the disembodied aristocratic female. Wood represents the impossible, contradictory spaces that women in general are supposed to occupy by using the high visibility of aristocratic female characters as a magnifying glass for gender norms. Wood sees aristocratic women as doubly trapped by patriarchal structures as these women attempt the paradoxical “public vs. private” and “viewed vs. intangible” demands placed on them by their gender and class statuses. By representing all women, but especially upper-class women, as constantly seen but lacking corporeal forms (especially in comparison to the highly embodied male characters in her texts), Wood stresses the tension between conflicting ideologies of conventional femininity in the Victorian period.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: ?? 53981500Jl ??
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Health and Society
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way
Uncontrolled Keywords: class,gender,Mrs Henry Wood,Sensation fiction,the gaze,Victorian literature,Gender Studies,Literature and Literary Theory
Publication ISSN: 1747-5848
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2024 07:14
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 10:40
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 82.2019.1640936 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-01
Published Online Date: 2019-07-12
Accepted Date: 2019-07-01
Authors: Boucher, Abigail (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8648-2781)



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License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

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