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Giving Women: Alliance and Exchange in Victorian Culture

Jill Rappoport

Abstract

Altruism and self-assertiveness went hand in hand for Victorian women. During a period when most lacked property rights and professional opportunities, gift transactions allowed them to enter into economic negotiations of power as volatile and potentially profitable as those within the market systems that so frequently excluded or exploited them. They made presents of holiday books and homemade jams, transformed inheritances into intimate and aggressive bequests, and, in both prose and practice, offered up their own bodies in sacrifice. Far more than selfless acts of charity or sure signs of t ... More

Keywords: Victorian, gift, giving, women, community, reform, sacrifice, literature

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199772605
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199772605.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jill Rappoport, author
Kentucky University