Not Playing Nice: Bad Girls of Classic Literature
From Raskalnikov to Heathcliff, classic literature has provided the collective imagination with some of our great anti-heroes. But what about anti-heroines? In a world where women were supposed to be genteel homemakers and doting mothers, what was a girl with no social standing, but brains and ruthless ambition, supposed to do? Meet Undine Spragg, Becky Sharp and Lady Susan, three of the most whip smart and nasty characters literature has ever produced. In this three part reading series, you'll have a ball watching them lie, cheat, connive and charm their way to the top (and sometimes back down again).
The "wicked woman" has been a trope in literature since at least Eve, but in these three characters, two created by great female writers, we get to see powerful women struggling to find their place in a world where the traditional roles of wife and mother were on the cusp of great and permanent change. So, are these wily women villainesses or heroines? You decide
The selections in this series will be Lasy Susan by Jane Austen (1/10), The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (2/14) and Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (3/14).
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