Two stories written by women that might illustrate the position of women in the Victorian marriage a little:
The first one is Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Read it here online). “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a 6,000-word short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in 1891 in New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, and illustrates attitudes in the 19th century toward women’s physical and mental health, and their (in)ability to make their own life choices.
The second story is Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” It was originally published in the December 6, 1894 issue of Vogue magazine under its original title, “The Dream of an Hour”. It describes a woman’s reaction to the news of her husband’s sudden death and to the subsequent news that he is, in fact, alive. The story exemplifies Chopin’s beliefs regarding women’s roles in marriage and feminine identity. You can read it online here
Despite what it might seem like, I found both these stories very interesting and enjoyable to read!
And while we’re on the subject of female writers, check out this very interesting post about Lady Murasaki of Japan!