Seductive Convention: Reading, Romance and Realism in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss and Virginia Woolf's The Voyage Out
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This study analyses the oscillations between realism and romance in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss and Virginia Woolf’s The Voyage Out. In these novels, the shift from realism to romance is often mediated by scenes of female reading. This thesis explores the relationship between female reading and genre and argues that the conventional story patterns of past texts exert a strong influence on a woman’s ability to conceptualize her own identity and shape her life story.