Impressions // The Story of a Modern Woman by Ella Hepworth Dixon
‘All we modern women mean to help each other now.’
If I were rich enough to buy a million copies of this book and devote the rest of my life to leaving them scattered across tube station platforms, park benches and shopping centres à la Emma Watson, I would. Dixon’s text has, for reasons that utterly elude me, spent the best part of the past century out of mainstream print and has been republished only relatively recently, in this fantastic Broadview edition, which contains a thorough grounding in the context of the ‘New Woman’ phenomenon by way of Steve Farmer’s brilliant introduction, as well as a collection of reviews and essays from contemporary publications at the close. My first encounter with this novel actually took place just over a year ago as part of a postgraduate class focusing on the Victorian Bildungsroman. For this reason I should probably take a moment to express my gratitude to my university’s English department for introducing me to the novel which took just a few pages to become one of my all-time favourites.