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date: 02 August 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The American writer Winnifred Harper Cooley (1874–1967) described in depth the feminist ideal known as the “New Woman,” a term popularized by the writer Henry James for characters like the protagonist in Daisy Miller. The New Woman pushed against male dominance and sought education, independence, suffrage, and control of her own life. This chapter of The New Womanhood shows the shift in opinion of the unmarried woman, from poor spinster to “bachelor maiden,” that occurs when a woman acts decisively to craft her own lifestyle. Consider how Cooley alerts her readers to the misstep of idealizing this figure, who may be less a woman in full control and more an inadvertent victim of her sociopolitical circumstances.

From Winnifred Cooley, The New Womanhood. New York: Broadway Publishing Co., 1904, pp. 135–45.

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