Spanish Female Writers and the Freethinking Press, 1879-1926
Published: April 2014© 2014
256 Pages, 6.30 x 9.40 x 0.95 in
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Christine Arkinstall’s historical and literary study of female freethinking intellectuals in fin-de-siècle Spain examines the contributions of three intellectuals, Amalia Domingo Soler, Angeles López de Ayala, and Belén Sárraga, to the development of feminist consciousness and democracy. These women wrote for, edited, and published radical and feminist periodicals that, until now, have been left unstudied. This significant gap in the scholarship has left us without an accurate sense of Spanish women’s involvement in the public realm.
Spanish Female Writers and the Freethinking Press, 1879–1926 recovers the lost history and literary contributions these women made to the so-called Generation of 1898. Using their extensive published works, Arkinstall not only illuminates the lives of Domingo Soler, López de Ayala, and Sárraga, but traces the connections between feminism, freethinking, republicanism, freemasonry, anarchism, and socialism. By placing these women’s work in the broader literary, social, and political context of the period, Arkinstall’s study makes a major contribution to our understanding of the central role of women in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century democracy in Spain.
Chapter 1 – Transcribing the Past, Writing the Future: Spiritism, Feminism, and an Aesthetics of Emancipation in the Writings of Amalia Domingo Soler (1835-1909)
Chapter 2 – Toward the Republic through (R)evolution: Ángeles López de Ayala (1856-1926)
Chapter 3 – Domestic Politics, National Agendas: López de Ayala’s Literary Works
Chapter 4 – Federal Republicanism, Feminism and Freethinking in (Trans)national Arenas: The Sociopolitical Poetics of Belén Sárraga (c.1873-1950)
‘Christine Arkinstall has written a thorough and thoughtful book…. The book makes important contributions to the history of progressive movements and of feminism in Spain.’Martha Ackelsberg, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature vol 34:01:2015
‘Arkinstall’s well-written book is both a meticulous historical study and an insightful literary analysis… This is an important book that fills a glaring gap in Spain’s literary history and revises the alleged absence of turn-of-the century female intellectuals from the nation’s socio-political scene.’Margot Versteeg, SHARP News vol 24:03:2015
‘This study expands both the literary and the historical scholarship of early Spanish Republicanism, freemasonry, and anarchism while making an indispensable contribution to the histories of early Spanish feminism and the Spanish press.’Letras Femeninas, A Journal of Women and Gender Studies in Hispanic Literature and Culture – winter 2015
‘This is a fascinating and enlightening work… Highly informative as well as comprising essential reading for the specialist, it will doubtless be of interest to the general reader of this period of European history too.’Rhian Davies, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, vol 94:2017
“Through meticulous research, Christine Arkinstall has proven that women thinkers and activists did not disappear from the Spanish intellectual landscape in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Spanish Female Writers and the Freethinking Press, she weaves a fascinating account of these women’s lives, writings, and public activities. The style is fluid, accessible, and graceful – a great pleasure to read.” Roberta Johnson, Emerita, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Kansas
“Spanish Female Writers and the Freethinking Press completely explodes a complacent understanding of fin de siglo Spanish society and literature derived from reading the canon and unquestioningly accepting received ideas and opinions. This is an exciting, revolutionary work.” Maryellen Bieder, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Indiana University–Bloomington