THE WOMAN WHO DID by Grant...

THE WOMAN WHO DID by Grant Allen (Oxford Paperbacks: $8.95; 140 pp.). Long out of print, Allen's once popular novel of "the New Woman" scandalized Victorian England. Lovely, Cambridge-educated Herminia Barton happily enters a relationship with handsome barrister Alan Merrick, but refuses to marry him: "I know what marriage is--from what vile slavery it has sprung; on what unseen horrors for my sister women it is reared and buttressed; and by what unholy sacrifices it is sustained and made possible." Her contemporary-sounding declarations are balanced against the author's comments on the "natural" roles of men and women, and the tragic ending caused by Herminia's refusal to compromise her principles.

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