The Menopausal Vampire: Arabella Kenealy and the Boundaries of True Womanhood
This article examines the work of the late-Victorian writer and physician, Arabella Kenealy, whom Bram Dijkstra says is 'still a bedrock of our own sense of sexual identity.' Kenealy preached the dangers of excessive exercise and education to woman's true vocation of motherhood. Although motherhood is at the core of nearly every piece - fictional or medico-social - that Kenealy wrote, she was also concerned with the figures who defined the boundaries of motherhood - the pubescent teenager, the 'neuter,' and the menopausal woman. in her 1896 story, 'A Beautiful Vampire,' published in Ludgate Magazine, Kenealy makes a rare foray into the genre of Gothic fiction in order to highlight the eugenic monstrosity of one such 'other,' the ageing woman.
Swenson, Kristine. "The Menopausal Vampire: Arabella Kenealy and the Boundaries of True Womanhood." Women's Writing (2003): 27-46.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/09699080300200186
English and Technical Communication
Keywords and Phrases
Menopause; Gender identity; Physicians; Motherhood
1819 - 1880
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Article - Journal
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