The Odd Women - SRC #8

odd womenGeorge Gissing's The Odd Women was interesting. When I first happened upon the book I thought that "odd" referred to strange. But it actually doesn't. It refers to the fact that here were more women than men and the women that didn't marry were the odd women, referring to their demographic situation.

This books deals with the era of the "New Women" and is often discribed as being ahead of its time. It was published in 1893 and serves to remind us that feminism is by no means a recent concern.

It basically looks at all the options for single, unmarried women at the time. Some are working in traditional means (governess, companion, etc), others are training to work in offices, some give up working in despair and choose unsuitable marriages. Some of the women who are unmarried wish to marry, other fight against the idea of marriage.

It's an interesting little book, especially when you consider the time in which it was written, and I'm kind of surprised that I had not heard much about it before. It puts a different face on the spinster. Actually, it puts many different faces on the spinster.

I enjoyed it. I think it may have a place on my shelf someday when I buy a new shelf and have room for more books (and at the rate I've been buying them lately I really ought to get that shelf soon).