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Narrativizing women's experiences in late nineteenth-century Italy through domestic fiction

Mitchell, Katharine (2010) Narrativizing women's experiences in late nineteenth-century Italy through domestic fiction. Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, 14 (4). pp. 483-501. ISSN 1364-2529

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Abstract

Drawing upon the domestic fiction by Italian women writers of the late nineteenth-century, in this article I argue that we can use this as evidence of history as a cultural undertaking. Through a reading of a selection of popular novels and short stories intended for a female readership, I demonstrate how domestic fiction provides crucial textual evidence for us to rediscover and reinterpret the (hi)story of women's sentiments and experiences in late nineteenth-century Italy. In so doing, I align the role of the narrator with that of the historian to conceive of history as representation; that is, not as fictional, but as fictive.