Bloodworth 2012 Graves

Title Information

Author: Jenny Bloodworth

Title: Clotilde Graves: Journalist, Dramatist and Novelist

Subtitle: Writing to Survive in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

Thesis: Ph.D. Thesis, University of Leicester

Year: 2012

Pages: 306pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | English History | Representations: Literature / Clotilde Graves

Full Text

Link: Leicester Research Archive [Free Access]

Additional Information


»Katherine Newey, in her study of nineteenth century female playwrights, has written of those, ‘who routinely worked for money, in theatres where the takings were as important as aesthetic achievement or legitimacy’. While Joanne Shattock, in a study of women authors, acknowledges that earnings were the key to a woman’s professionalism.
With her short hair, masculine style of dress and her penchant for cigarettes, Clotilde Graves (1863-1932) epitomised the vigorous New Woman of the fin de siècle. Drawing on previously unused material from Graves’s case file, held in the Royal Literary Fund Archive, this thesis charts her progress as a writer to explore both the motivational force of economics on her literary career, and its impact on her various discourses as a journalist, playwright and novelist.
The study, divided into three sections, explores a number of key themes including: sexual abuse, marriage, the fallen woman, and the maternal ideal, to assess Graves’s development as both a writer and an advocate of social purity feminism. The thesis exposes the precarious nature of the writer’s profession, especially for a woman, and reveals the demands on Graves to balance personal beliefs against the immediate need to earn a living. Though she died penniless her extensive output included innumerable articles, twenty plays, nine compilations of short stories, and fifteen novels.
The thesis appraises Graves’s adoption of male aliases and her employment of autobiographical material, which is contextualised against the production of her most popular novel, The Dop Doctor. This work shows that compromise was often a prerequisite and confirms that commerciality did not necessarily translate into financial achievement, nor did it provide economic security. This recovery of a forgotten female writer, of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, contributes to the growing body of work in this field.« [Source: Leicester Research Archive]


  Introduction (p. 1)
    Primary Sources (p. 3)
    Section One: The Journalist (p. 4)
    Section Two: The Playwright (p. 6)
    Section Three: The Novelist (p. 10)
  Section One: A Journalist (p. 13)
  Chapter One: The Female Hack
  Chapter Two: Measures of Success: Graves’s 'Grindings' (p. 42)
  Section Two: A Playwright (p. 69)
  Chapter Three: [No] Shining Example of Theatrical Purity: Katherine Kavanagh, the Heroine with a Past (p. 69)
  Chapter Four: Dr. and Mrs Neill (p. 103)
  Chapter Five: Comedy, Compromise and Commerciality: The Bond of Ninon (p. 132)
  Chapter Six: Staging Sexual Abuse: A Tenement Tragedy (p. 163)
  Section Three: A Novelist (p. 197)
  Chapter Seven: A ‘forgotten bestseller’: The Dop Doctor by Richard Dehan (p. 197)
  Chapter Eight: A Superior Mother: Representations of Motherhood and Maternity in The Dop Doctor (p. 212)
  Chapter Nine: Clotilde Graves or Richard Dehan? (p. 238)
  Wirting to Survive in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century: Conclusion (p. 262)
  Bibliography (p. 277)
    Primary Sources (p. 277)
    British Library Sources (p. 280)
    Correspondence (p. 281)
    British Library: Newspaper Collection at Colindale (p. 284)
    Contemporary Printed Sources (p. 286)
    Published Plays (p. 289)
    Related Fictions (p. 290)
    Secondary Sources: Journalism and Publishing (p. 292)
    Theatrical History and Criticism (p. 294)
    Literary History and Criticism (p. 297)
    History (p. 301)
    Cultural History and Criticism (p. 304)
    Journals (p. 305)
    Theses and Dissertations (p. 306)
    Archives (p. 306)

Wikipedia: Clotilde Graves

Added: August 3, 2013 | Last updated: August 3, 2013