Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Juan de Dios Torralbo Caballero: Eleanor Bold's Bold Blow at Ullathorne: Transgressing John Ruskin's and Eliza Lynn Linton's Boundaries


This study focuses on the character of Eleanor Bold, from Anthony Trollope's novel Barchester Towers. First, it examines its theoretical substrate by analysing some premises of gender roles in Victorian society, according to John Ruskin in his essay "Of Queen's Gardens" (1865), and to Eliza Lynn Linton, in her article "The Girl of the Period" (published in 1868). Second, it reflects on the behaviour, reactions and decisions of Eleanor Bold, particularly at the party in Ullathorne, where she reveals herself to be a daringly defiant woman. Finally, it applies the ideas advanced by Ruskin and Linton (similar to those previously articulated by Sarah Ellis Stickney and Coventry Patmore) to the unique Eleanor Bold, concluding that this independent widow challenges the social conventions of her time with regard to the conduct expected of women. Mrs Bold transcends the domestic sphere, living a full life in society, flouting decorum, and ultimately contracting a second marriage, one between equals. In a way, Eleanor Bold embodies and exemplifies a new type of woman.

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ISSN 1786-7967

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