Three Women and His Art (Part One): Elizabeth Maguire’s The Open Door (2008), Emma Tennant’s Felony (2002) and Lynne Alexander’s The Sister (2012)

  • Bethany LayneEmail author


Layne explores how James’s life and art read differently from the fictionalised perspective of his female contemporaries, and in relation to women’s literary experience. Emma Tennant’s Felony (2002), Elizabeth Maguire’s The Open Door (2008) and Lynne Alexander’s The Sister (2014) take appropriation as both form and subject matter, being mutually concerned with James’s creative ‘borrowings’ from Constance Fenimore Woolson, and from his sister, Alice. They thus develop Lyndall Gordon’s biographical reading of the creative importance of James’s relationships with women. Layne articulates each writer’s different emphasis: Maguire’s representation of James’s writing as impelled by the closet, Tennant’s critique of his ambiguous relationship with biographical enquiry and Alexander’s use of Alice as a ‘Judith Shakespeare’ to reveal the importance of James’s gender.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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