If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Superwoman: Theories of Gender and Genius in Edwardian Britain

Lucy Delap
The Historical Journal
Vol. 47, No. 1 (Mar., 2004), pp. 101-126
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4091547
Page Count: 26
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Superwoman: Theories of Gender and Genius in Edwardian Britain
Preview not available

Abstract

This article examines the development of the idea of the 'superwoman' among British Edwardian feminists and contextualizes it within the aristocratic political thought of the day. I examine the idea of the 'genius' and the 'superman' in order to shed light on why, for some Edwardian feminists, the ideal feminist agent was to be an elite, discerning, remote figure. I argue that Edwardian feminism witnessed an 'introspective turn', marked by an interest in character, will, and personality as the key components of emancipation. The focus of political change was firmly located within women themselves. This belief was widespread, even though only a minority chose the language of the 'superwoman' to elaborate it. References to the 'superwoman' indicates the impact of Nietzschean and egoist ideas upon the women's movement. The 'superwoman' was used to position feminism as a movement not just for political rights but for wider social regeneration, and represents a characteristically Edwardian belief in the power of the 'exceptional individual' to promote social change.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
101
    101
  • Thumbnail: Page 
102
    102
  • Thumbnail: Page 
103
    103
  • Thumbnail: Page 
104
    104
  • Thumbnail: Page 
105
    105
  • Thumbnail: Page 
106
    106
  • Thumbnail: Page 
107
    107
  • Thumbnail: Page 
108
    108
  • Thumbnail: Page 
109
    109
  • Thumbnail: Page 
110
    110
  • Thumbnail: Page 
111
    111
  • Thumbnail: Page 
112
    112
  • Thumbnail: Page 
113
    113
  • Thumbnail: Page 
114
    114
  • Thumbnail: Page 
115
    115
  • Thumbnail: Page 
116
    116
  • Thumbnail: Page 
117
    117
  • Thumbnail: Page 
118
    118
  • Thumbnail: Page 
119
    119
  • Thumbnail: Page 
120
    120
  • Thumbnail: Page 
121
    121
  • Thumbnail: Page 
122
    122
  • Thumbnail: Page 
123
    123
  • Thumbnail: Page 
124
    124
  • Thumbnail: Page 
125
    125
  • Thumbnail: Page 
126
    126