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Original scientific paper

Mary Helena Fortune: Waif Wanderer or a cross-dresser with a mission?

Tihana Klepač


Full text: french pdf 798 Kb

page 39-54

downloads: 350

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Abstract

At a time when marriage and domesticity still largely defined women’s lives, women
often found increased freedom in the colonial environment where social expectations
of them were more relaxed than in Europe. The first Australian crime fiction writer,
Victorian Mary Helena Fortune in both, her life and in her writing, took advantage of
this opportunity. Shrouding her private life in mystery, and writing under a pseudonym
Waif Wander shielded her, and protected her income from the audiences whose
Victorian values she did not share. Professionally, writing under a pseudonym, and
within then but emerging literary genre, she had the liberty to speak freely: she discussed
the issues of gender and identity in the hybrid and fluid colonial society which
was being constructed as a place where identities could be forged, and redemption
was possible, as is evident from the only printed (and reprinted) volume of her crime
stories The Detective’s Album.

Keywords

Australia, Mary Fortune, crime fiction, New Woman

Hrčak ID:

201144

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/201144

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