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The Wasting Heroine in German Fiction by Women 1770-1914 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Wasting Heroine in German Fiction by Women 1770-1914

Anna Richards


This study of German fiction by women 1770-1914 adds a new dimension to existing debates on the association of women and illness in literature. Drawing on a number of primary medical sources, it constructs a history of women's self-starvation, eating behaviour, and wasting diseases in particular, and examines the portrayal of the ‘wasting heroine’ in works by female and selected male authors in this context. It becomes clear that though the wasting heroine sometimes reinforces popular notions of female fragility, in certain works the book represents a rejection of a traditionally female role o ... More

Keywords: heroine, German fiction, illness, self-starvation, eating behaviour, wasting diseases, fragility, female role, women's status

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780199267545
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267545.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anna Richards, author
Lecturer in German at Birkbeck College, University of London
Author Webpage