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Satanic FeminismLucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture$
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Per Faxneld

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190664473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190664473.001.0001

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Satan as the Emancipator of Woman in Gothic Literature

Satan as the Emancipator of Woman in Gothic Literature

(p.143) 5 Satan as the Emancipator of Woman in Gothic Literature
Satanic Feminism

Per Faxneld

Oxford University Press

Chapter5 considers woman’s collusion with the Devil in five major novels of the Gothic genre, from the years 1772 to 1820, along with three vampire tales written between 1836 and 1897 and a werewolf novella from 1928. The latter takes the by now firmly established Gothic notion of Satan as the emancipator of woman—previously mostly depicted by Gothic authors as a terrible thing, though at times with some ambivalence—and combines it with a feminist sensibility. Gothic texts, it is argued, were party to the gradual shift in the view of rebellious, demonic females, which made them more and more attractive as positive role models. In the early Gothic novels, ritual magic and the invocation of demons (typically with women as the invocator) is a recurring theme. They are thus also examples of how esotericism was very much a part of popular culture, and intertwined with “Satanic feminism”.

Keywords:   Satan, Gothic novel, Gothic literature, Gothic, vampire, werewolf, feminism

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