Feminisms of the Belle Epoque


Feminisms of the Belle Epoque

A Historical and Literary Anthology

Edited by Jennifer Waelti-Walters and Steven C. Hause
Translated by Jennifer Waelti-Walters, Jette Kjaer, and Lydia Willis

337 pages
Introduction, 1 table, notes, appendixes, bibliography, index


February 1994


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About the Book

This volume consists of new translations of twenty-six representative selections from the belle époque, the period of cultural efflorescence in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France. These pieces have a remarkably modern sound; the anger of Nelly Roussel, the arguments for reproductive freedom, and the case histories of prostitutes transcend time and circumstance.

Chosen from newspapers, speeches, novels, political tracts, and the like, these selections portray the range of feminist response to the prevailing social situation of women—from the generally meliorist position of the Christian feminists to the radical stances of socialist and utopian feminists. The works of authors well known at the turn of the century are interspersed with stories of the lives of some of society's victims. The selections are organized thematically: education, work, prostitution and the double standard, marriage and male-female relations, maternity, and political and civil rights. In the volume introduction and in introductions to each selection, the editors place the pieces within their historical and social settings.

Author Bio

Jennifer Waelti-Walters is the director of women's studies and a professor of French at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She is the author of Feminist Novelists of the Belle Epoque: Love as a Lifestyle. Steven C. Hause is a professor of history and a Fellow of the Center for International Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has written, with Anne R. Kenney, Women's Suffrage and Social Politics in the French Third Republic, and Hubertine Auclert: The French Suffragette.