Relative Values: Career, Marriage, Maternity

  • Mary Eagleton


This chapter follows the clever girls into their post-graduation lives. For the protagonists in texts by A.S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble, the experience is more social impasse than social mobility. Frequently, the expectation is marriage, the consequence is maternity and the result is a non-existent or blighted career. The chapter relates the literary explorations to the social and educational history of the 1950s and early 1960s and to later interviews and essays in which Byatt and Drabble reflect on these issues with respect to their own lives. The authors employ diverse figures, narrative strategies and forms in their search for resolution. The general conclusion is that, in the trilogy of career, marriage and maternity, two might be managed but three is unlikely.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Eagleton
    • 1
  1. 1.YorkUK

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