- Series: Yale Nota Bene S
- Paperback: 768 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 2 Sub edition (July 11, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300084587
- ISBN-13: 978-0300084580
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (Yale Nota Bene S) 2 Sub Edition
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"A groundbreaking study of women writers." -- Martin Arnold, The New York Times
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Top Customer Reviews
This book went so far above and beyond my expectations that I'd bought my own copy and taken the library book back within a week. I pretty well devoured it, and had to make myself stop reading so that I didn't neglect writing the essay for which I'd obtained it.
It's a rare and magical thing when you discover a critic who not only writes a fascinating and compelling argument, but actually makes it readable and accessible. As to the reviewers who found it verbose and poorly written, Lord help you if you have to wade through anything of the usual density of pretentious academics. I often find reading critical material a pretty depressing experience for that reason, but Gilbert and Gubar managed somehow to make it all seem incredibly exciting.
Five stars also for sheer comprehensiveness - something on this scale must have taken a phenomenal amount of work. The book might present itself as an examination of nineteenth-century literature exclusively, but it definitely goes way beyond that, analysing the mythology that has been defining women in Western culture for centuries. I can, as a result, see myself returning to this again and again, both for university essays, and for my own personal benefit.
An absolute must-read for anyone remotely interested in feminist theory and/or the social functions of the myths and images that recur time and again in English literature.
Named for Bertha, the mad wife locked in the attic of Thornfield Hall in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Gilbert and Gubar's work on nineteenth-century women writers and their texts is essential in this field.
Well written, insightful, imaginative, and authoritative, Madwomen in the Attic is, in my opinion, a seminal text in Gothic literary scholarship.
I highly recommend this book, and its companion book "No Mans Land."
[Added later (November 11, 2008)]: this is one of the landmark books in "feminist studies." Whether one agrees with these authors, the fact is that any newer work on feminist studies will quote this book. Someone remarked that the authors are very verbose; they needed a better editor with a red pen, but that's fine. Sometimes it takes multiple explanations before the reader understands the concept. I find myself going back to this book often to look up a specific author / specific work. I continue to highly recommend it.