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A Different Type of New Woman: The Life and Writing of Lady Mary Jeune




Weaver, Heather

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation



Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Much work has been done in both the popular and academic presses over the last few decades to build the foundational knowledge of women’s activism through life writing, research, and the development of feminist methodologies for studying women’s lives and the cultures in which they lived. This dissertation is a case study of one woman in the nineteenth century that will show what activism for women and children looked like at the fin de siècle. Using life writing techniques and periodical studies, these chapters show the complex evolution of Lady Jeune’s public persona from a self-identified conservative position to an active liberal position heavily influenced by her Scottish heritage, also illuminating the intersectional complexities of class and regional identities in a way that highlights the fluid nature of Victorian feminisms. To do so, the life of Lady Jeune is examined through primary source materials in the periodical press, both her own writing and responses from her peers, illustrating the shifts between fictional New Woman characters and the lives of real women who stepped outside of the domestic sphere for an active life in the public eye.