Greed, generosity, and other problems with unmarried women’s property

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2 Scopus citations


This essay examines how blood ties motivate the financial choices of sev-eral unmarried women in Anthony Trollope’s fiction. It both proposes a model for interpreting female economic agency that does not depend primarily upon sexual economies and suggests the significance of married women’s property reform for relationships outside of marriage. The punitive plotlines I examine in The Eustace Diamonds, Phineas Finn, Phineas Redux, and Can You Forgive Her? highlight the simi-lar threats posed by single women’s greed and generosity. By challenging principles of inheritance and heterosexual exchange, depriving the very families they claim to help of support, and creating unacceptable burdens for their male kin, these characters underscore contemporary fears and fantasies about the intrafamilial stakes of women’s independent financial choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-660
Number of pages25
JournalVictorian Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Trustees of Indiana University.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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