"The masculinization of fiction, 1800-1960"
February 21, 2018 1:04 PM Subscribe
The Transformation of Gender in English-Language Fiction is a long essay by Ted Underwood, David Bamman and Sabrina Lee that uses quantative analysis of over a hundred thousand works of fiction digitized by HathiTrust to look at the proportion of fiction written by women, and the proportion of female characters, from 1780-2007. To the authors' surprise both declined steadily and profoundly from 1800-1960, before rebounding. They also looked at gender divisions between male and female characters over the same period, finding that they had lessened. The Guardian has a short summary of the findings. And for more on gender representation in 19th Century fiction, the authors point to Understanding Gender and Character Agency in the 19th Century Novel by Matthew Jockers and Gabi Kirilloff.
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