Review of Reviews,  10 (1894), 64–74.

The Book of the Month. The Novel of the Modern Woman



Regular Feature, Abstract

Publications abstracted:

Kenealy [1893] [Brooke] 1894


Gender, Physiology, Vitalism, Heredity, Sex, Disease, Degeneration

    Explains that Arabella Kenealy's new novel argues 'with the maternal instincts of her sex, reinforced by the studies of a physiologist, that it [is] a grave mistake for women who hope some day to be mothers, to spend in study or labour the physical and nervous vitality which should be stored up as a kind of natural banking account to the credit of their children. Every woman [...] who uses up her natural vitality in a profession or business, or in study, will bear feeble, rickety children, and is in fact spending her infant's inheritance on herself. Mrs. Fawcett's portrait gallery of infants born by Newnham and Girton graduates may be quoted on the other side, but that does not prove Dr. Kenealy is wrong' (67). Another recent novel, written anonymously by Emma F Brooke, features a woman who is 'doomed to experience the horror of becoming a mother of a syphilitic child by a reprobate husband', allowing herself 'with her eyes open, to become particeps criminis in this mutual outrage on posterity' and 'the agent for the perpetuation of a scrofulous and degenerated stock' (68).

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