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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Fashioning Michael Field: Michael Field and Late-Victorian Dress Culture
Author(s): Parker, Sarah
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Keywords: Aestheticism
Michael Field
Fin de Siècle
New Woman
Issue Date: 2013
Date Deposited: 29-Apr-2014
Citation: Parker S (2013) Fashioning Michael Field: Michael Field and Late-Victorian Dress Culture. Journal of Victorian Culture, 18 (3), pp. 313-334.
Abstract: This article explores how the late-Victorian poets Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper, who wrote under the collaborative pseudonym Michael Field, used fashionable dress to construct and advertise their unique poetic identity. Using evidence from their journal Works and Days, I contextualise Bradley and Cooper's clothing in terms of late-Victorian dress culture, and the major dress reform movements of the nineteenth century. I demonstrate that Bradley and Cooper used fashion as a distinctively feminine way of participating in aesthetic culture, marking significant life events, and to advertise their poetic identity. This self-fashioning also exposed them to aesthetic scrutiny from their peers Oscar Wilde and Bernard Berenson. Finally, I argue that fashion played a crucial role in Bradley and Cooper's desire for one another – and that this desire can be understood in terms of erotic reciprocity.
DOI Link: 10.1080/13555502.2013.783413
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