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Download Bram Stoker: A Literary Life by Lisa Hopkins (auth.) PDF

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By Lisa Hopkins (auth.)

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Extra info for Bram Stoker: A Literary Life

Sample text

In the end, no doubt, complete independence would be secured for each woman by the civilized state, or, in other words, by the whole body of men who do the hard work of the world, and who would collectively guarantee every necessary and luxury to every woman of the community equally. In that way alone could perfect liberty of choice and action be secured for women; and she held it just that women should be so provided for, because the mothers of the community fulfil in the state as important and necessary a function as the men themselves do.

34 Once again, milk supply is imaged as conflicting with the demands of wifehood, although on this occasion difficulties arise only if the wife suckles children other than her own. Even when she does not do that, however, she can keep her husband only by infantilising him and by becoming, in effect, his mother. As with the wandering nursemaid, then, female sexuality cannot coexist with the ability to nurture. Commenting on the presentation of the vampiric Lucy, Christopher Craft points out: the child Lucy clutches ‘strenuously to her breast’ is not being fed but is being fed upon.

Her adjuration to women not to go to sleep breastfeeding encodes some very interesting assumptions: the mother wakes in a state of clammy exhaustion, with giddiness, dimness of sight, nausea, loss of appetite, and a dull waking pain through the back and between the shoulders. 33 On similar lines, Jill L. Matus quotes another self-styled nursing authority of the nineteenth century, Mary Anne Baines: If a married woman hired herself out to nurse another’s child, Mary Anne Baines asserted, her own must suffer.

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