A Subversive Literary Tradition

Lacking the autonomy that the pen represents, nineteenth century middle-class women were excluded from the culture of creation, leaving them unable to refute male fiction with their own narratives. Themes of anger, double identity, and reflections permeate the seminal works of women writers at this time. These themes can be traced back to Mary Shelley, pioneer of this revolutionary subversive literary tradition that the Brontes would later adapt to their own novels.