<<

. 35
( 47 .)



>>

 Critical treatments of narrative in relation to its ideological contexts include
Peter Brooks, Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative (New York:
Vintage-Random House, ±µ) and Body Work: Objects of Desire in Modern
Narrative (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, ±); Robyn War-
hol, Gendered Interventions: Narrative Discourse in the Victorian Novel (New Brun-
± Notes to pages ±“±
swick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, ±); and Michal Peled Ginsburg,
Economies of Change: Form and Transformation in the Nineteenth-Century Novel
(Stanford University Press, ±). For an overview of the question of a
feminist narratology, see the dialogue between Gerald Prince, ˜˜On Nar-
ratology: Criteria, Corpus, Context,™™ and Susan S. Lanser, ˜˜Sexing the
Narrative: Propriety, Desire and the Engendering of Narratology,™™ both in
Narrative , no. ± (January ±µ).
 Edith Wharton, for one, self-consciously alludes to two in¬‚uential mid-
century bachelor narratives in her only ¬rst-person narrated novel, Ethan
Frome (±±±; Harmondsworth: Penguin, ±·). Wharton™s naming of
˜˜Zeena™™ recalls Zenobia of The Blithedale Romance; her introductory defense
of her novel™s form “ ˜˜I might have sat [the narrator] down before a village
gossip who would have poured out the whole a¬air to him™™ (pp. xx“xxi) “
gestures towards what Nelly Dean calls her ˜˜gossip™s fashion™™ of telling the
story to Lockwood, the bachelor narrator of Wuthering Heights.


±   µ ¬ © ® °  ¤ ©  
± ˜˜The Bachelor Bedroom,™™ All the Year Round ±, no. ±µ (August , ±µ), µµ.
Further page references from this text will be given in the body of the
chapter. This piece is attributed to Wilkie Collins in Ella Ann Oppenlander,
Dickens™ All the Year Round: Descriptive Index and Contributor List (Troy, NY:
Whitson Publishing Co., ±).
 This phrase entitles Mary Ryan™s The Empire of the Mother: American Writing
about Domesticity, ±°“±° (New York: Haworth Press in association with
the Institute for Research in History, ±). My discussion of nineteenth-
century domesticity is indebted to Ryan™s groundbreaking work, especially
Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, ±·°“±µ
(New York: Cambridge University Press, ±±).
 Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. ˜˜bachelor.™™ The OED also notes that bachelor
was latinized as ˜˜baccalauris,™™ subsequently by wordplay to ˜˜baccalaur-
eus,™™ as if connected to ˜˜bacca lauri,™™ laurel berry, which has sometimes
been incorrectly given as the etymology. This false etymology is given, for
example, in T. S. M., ˜˜Bachelors and Spinsters,™™ Leisure Hour  (±·µ);
however, this article™s playful presentation of other patently bogus etymo-
logical cognates “ including ˜˜battalarius,™™ ˜˜battelarius,™™ and ˜˜bottle-arius™™
“ makes it uncertain whether the incorrect etymology is given in earnest.
 Leonore Davido¬ and Catherine Hall, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the
English Middle Class, ±·°“±µ° (University of Chicago Press, ±·), note that
in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries ˜˜[m]asculine identity
was equated with an emerging concept of occupation, while women re-
mained within a familial framework™™ (p. °). My account of the contradic-
tions of bourgeois masculine identity is indebted to Davido¬ and Hall, and
to Catherine Hall, White, Male, and Middle Class: Explorations in Feminism and
History (New York: Routledge, ±).
Notes to pages ±“ ±
µ W. R. Greg, ˜˜Why Are Women Redundant?™™ National Review ±, no. 
(April ±), µ.
 How to de¬ne ˜˜middle class™™ has long been, and continues to be, subject to
debate. Possible parameters include income, home ownership, the employ-
ment of domestic servants, and respectability itself as an ideal or aspiration.
In what follows, I use the term ˜˜middle class™™ to refer to the writers,
audiences, and subjects of representation whose world view seems to have
been deeply informed by domestic and separate spheres ideologies, a
circular de¬nition perhaps, but su¬cient for my purposes here.
· Linda Kerber addresses the history and limitations of ˜˜woman™s sphere™™ as
a metaphor within cultural analysis; see ˜˜Separate Spheres, Female Worlds,
Woman™s Place: The Rhetoric of Women™s History,™™ Journal of American
History ·µ, no. ± (June ±).
 Degler argues that an increasing proportion of women in the United States
did not marry, and Jacobson™s and Monahan™s data shows that for both
men and women, the marriage rate bottomed out in the mid-±°s and
began rising, though slowly, after that. See Carl N. Degler, At Odds: Women
and the Family in America from the Revolution to the Present (New York: Oxford
University Press, ±°), p. ±°; Paul H. Jacobson, American Marriage and
Divorce (New York: Rinehart, ±µ), pp. ±“; Thomas Monahan, The Pattern
of Age at Marriage in the United States,  vols. (Philadelphia: Stephenson Bros,
±µ±), vol. I, p. .
 Greg estimates the discrepancy at °,°°° more men than women in the
colonies and the United States, a ¬gure that may account for immigrants
from countries besides England. Helsinger et al. observe that Greg under-
states the problem of the ¬nancial support of unmarried women, since the
±µ± census puts the total number of unmarried women at .µ million,
including ·µ,± widows; see Elizabeth K. Helsinger, Robin Lauterbach
Sheets, and William Veeder, The Woman Question: Society and Literature in
Britain and America, ±·“±,  vols. (New York: Garland, ±), vol. II,
pp. ±“. The sex ratio in Wales, by contrast, was virtually even and
unchanging; see Donald Read, The Age of Urban Democracy: England ±“
±±, rev. ed. (London: Longman, ±), p. °.
±° For an intensive treatment of the demographics of American bachelorhood,
see Howard Chudaco¬, The Age of the Bachelor: Creating an American Subculture
(Princeton University Press, forthcoming). My thanks to Professor
Chudaco¬ for allowing me to present his ¬ndings.
±± In ˜˜Why Are Women Redundant?™™ W. R. Greg proposed female emigra-
tion, as did ˜˜A Plea for the Men,™™ The Spectator ·, no. , ° (November ,
±±): ˜˜After all, why should not women emigrate to seek a husband, in the
same way as men emigrate to seek a fortune? Emigration is to a certain
degree responsible for the want of marriageable men in England; therefore
let it form an escape for the super¬‚uity of marriageable women™™ (p. ·µ·).
The anxiety about the falling marriage rate was not only, or even primarily,
generated by fears that women would go hungry; a more immediate evil was
° Notes to pages “
the unwelcome competition with men that the increasing presence of
unmarried women in the workforce was thought to create.
± ˜˜Why Bachelors Should Not be Taxed,™™ The North American Review ±, no.
°· (February ±, ±°·),  and .
± James Robertson, ˜˜Some Pleas for a Special Tax on the Bachelor,™™ The
Westminster Review ±·°, no. µ (November ±°), µ±“µ; µ and µ.
± Robertson, ˜˜Some Pleas for a Special Tax,™™ µ±.
±µ See F. M. L. Thompson, The Rise of Respectable Society: A Social History of
Victorian Britain, ±°“±°° (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
±), pp. µ±“µ; John R. Gillis, For Better, for Worse: British Marriages, ±°° to the
Present (New York: Oxford University Press, ±µ), p. ; J. A. Banks and
Olive Banks, Feminism and Family Planning in Victorian England (University of
Liverpool Press, ±µ), p. µ.
± See Monahan, The Pattern of Age, pp. ±° and ±±; see also Elaine Tyler May,
Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian America (University of
Chicago Press, ±°), pp.  and ±.
±· In The Woman Question, Helsinger et al. observe that ˜˜between ±°° and ±°°
the birthrate fell dramatically in America and substantially in Britain™™
(p. ·). According to Stephanie Coontz, The Social Origins of Private Life
(London: Verso, ±), ˜˜American fertility . . . fell by nearly ° percent
between ±µµ and ±±µ™™ (p. °). Degler, At Odds, pp. ±·“°, argues that
this major shift, called the ˜˜demographic transition,™™ had already substan-
tially occurred in America by ±°, and had in fact begun in the early ±·°°s.
± In Country House Life: Family and Servants, ±±µ“±± (London: Blackwell,
±), Jessica Gerard argues that the e¬ects of primogeniture among the
landed gentry in the second half of the nineteenth century could be seen in
the fact that ˜˜many younger sons . . . elected to remain bachelors, while
those who did go courting were often discouraged as ineligible by match-
making mamas™™ (p. ). Although ˜˜primogeniture . . . encourag[ed] heirs to
marry,™™ Gerard notes the surprising fact that one in ten male landowners in
her research sample remained unmarried. To explain this unexpectedly
high ¬gure, she argues that the law of primogeniture paradoxically encour-
aged “ or at least was compatible with “ nonmarriage for eldest sons as well
as younger sons: ˜˜The greater value placed on individualism permitted
heirs to make a personal choice [of nonmarriage], bolstered by primogeni-
ture, which secured the inheritance by entail on a brother or nephew™™
(p. ).
± See E. Anthony Rotundo, American Manhood: Transformations in Masculinity
from the Revolution to the Modern Age (New York: Basic Books, ±), pp. ±±“±µ;
and Richard Sennett, Families Against the City: Middle Class Homes of Industrial
Chicago, ±·“±° (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, ±·°),
p. °. Ethnic di¬erences o¬set these trends; for example, see George
Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male
World, ±°“±° (New York: Basic Books, ±), p. ··, on Irish-American
marriage patterns, and Thompson, The Rise of Respectable Society, p. µ, on the
Notes to pages “ ±
marriage patterns of the Irish in Ireland. Read, The Age of Urban Democracy,
indicates the correlation between class and marriage age for English men:
˜˜In ±·± the mean age of marriage among manual workers stood about .°
years, whereas among shopkeepers and farmers it was ·.° and among
professional men and managers it reached nearly °.°™™ (p. ·); the mean age
of marriage for brides varied much less between classes. In Feminism and
Family Planning, pp. “°, Banks and Banks note that while the marriage
age was actually lower in the general population than earlier in the nine-
teenth century, writers of the period portrayed it as higher, an exaggeration
that re¬‚ects their perception of later marriage age; they also note that rich
men did, in fact, marry later.
° See Caroll Smith-Rosenberg, Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian
America (New York: Oxford University Press, ±), pp. ·“µ; and Lillian
Faderman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-
Century America (New York: Penguin, ±), pp. ±“±.
± This statement is attributed to ˜˜an English scientist™™ in the ˜˜Live Ques-
tions™™ column in The Cosmopolitan, which in November and December of
± featured selected ˜˜representative™™ responses to the question, ˜˜Is Mar-
riage a Failure?™™, The Cosmopolitan , no. ± (November ±), . Earlier that
year, this question had provoked a lively correspondence debate consisting
of over ·,°°° letters in the English newspaper, the Daily Telegraph. Twenty
years earlier, the Telegraph had aired, or manufactured, a comparable
correspondence debate over the choice, ˜˜Marriage or Celibacy?™™; see John
M. Robson, Marriage or Celibacy?: The Daily Telegraph on a Victorian Dilemma
(University of Toronto Press, ±µ), pp. “.
 For a theoretical and historical overview of ˜˜race suicide™™ in turn-of-the-
century popular discourse, see Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A
Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, ±°“±±· (University of
Chicago Press, ±µ), pp. ±“°.
 Read, The Age of Urban Democracy, cites as evidence for these shifts the
di¬erence between the ±µ· and the ±· editions of J. H. Walsh™s Manual of
Domestic Economy, noting that ˜˜middle-class outlay on food, drink, domestic
service and household goods seems to have increased . . . by one-half™™
(pp. “±°).
 John Burnett dates the emergence of this concept in the ±°s, just before
the rise in marriage age began; see A Social History of Housing, ±±µ“±µ, nd
ed. (London: Methuen, ±), p. ±°°.
µ ˜˜Bachelors “ Why?: Views of Five Hundred of Them on the Income
Needed for Matrimony and the Fitness of the Girls for Household Manage-
ment,™™ Good Housekeeping µ°, no.  (March ±±°) and no.  (April ±±°); ˜˜On
the Excessive In¬‚uence of Women,™™ Temple Bar  (February ±··); ˜˜Single
Life Among Us,™™ Harper™s New Monthly Magazine ±, no. ±° (March ±µ),
µ°±. In ˜˜I Have No Genius for Marriage: Bachelorhood in Urban America,
±·°“±°,™™ PhD thesis, University of Michigan (in progress), Peter Laipson
argues that after ±·° the burden of blame for the rise of bachelorhood was
 Notes to pages “
shifted to the shoulders of women; I have not, however, been able to ¬nd
evidence of this pattern in the popular magazine representations. I am
grateful to Peter Laipson for allowing me to read his work-in-progress.
 Mrs. Alfred [Alice] Pollard, ˜˜Why Men Don™t Marry: An Eighteenth-
Century Answer,™™ Longman™s Magazine , no. ± (November ±), ±µ.
· Medical student bachelors appear, for example, in ˜˜A Bachelor™s Story,™™
Chamber™s Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Arts µ, no. ° (June ±,
±·); Clement Bird, ˜˜A Bachelor™s Bedroom,™™ Belgravia , no. µ (March
±·); and Pauline Hopkins, ˜˜Talma Gordon,™™ Colored American Magazine ±
(October ±°°), which opens with its doctor narrator asserting that ˜˜I was a
bachelor, then, without ties™™ (p. ·±). Stevenson™s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde (±) famously features a bachelor community consisting
largely of lawyers and doctors. In the nineteenth century, the term ˜˜profes-
sions™™ expanded from its earlier denotation of medicine, law, the clergy,
and the military to include engineering, architecture, accounting and a
number of other occupations, sometimes including the arts and authorship;
see Magali S. Larson, The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis (Ber-
keley: University of California Press, ±··), pp. “.
 ˜˜Marriage of a Medical Man Not Advisable,™™ British Medical Journal (No-
vember , ±±), µ·°.
 See Lynne Segal, Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men (New
Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, ±°), p. ±°µ. See also Donald E.
Hall (ed.), Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age, (Cambridge Uni-
versity Press, ±); Claudia Nelson, ˜˜Sex and the Single Boy: Ideals of
Manliness and Sexuality in Victorian Literature for Boys,™™ Victorian Studies
, no.  (Summer ±), µµ“µ°, especially µµ“ and µ·; Norman Vance,
Sinews of the Spirit: The Ideal of Christian Manliness in Victorian Literature and
Religious Thought (New York: Cambridge University Press, ±µ); and Bruce
Haley, The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, ±·), pp. ±“°.
° On this shift, see Bederman, Manliness and Civilization. See also Maurizia
Boscagli, Eye on the Flesh: Fashions of Masculinity in the Early Twentieth Century
(Boulder, CO: Westview Press, ±), pp. ±·“; Mark C. Carnes and Clyde
Gri¬en (eds.), Meanings for Manhood: Constructions of Masculinity in Victorian
America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ±°), pp. “; John
D™Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in
America (New York: Harper and Row, ±), p. ±·; and J. A. Mangan and
James Walvin (eds.), Manliness and Morality: Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain
and America ±°°“±° (New York: St. Martin™s Press, ±·).
± Timothy Gilfoyle, City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercializ-
ation of Sex, ±·°“±° (New York: Norton, ±), pp. ±° and .
 Chauncey, Gay New York, p. ·. Compare Elliott Gorn, The Manly Art:
Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, ±):
˜˜Sociologists have talked of a ˜bachelor subculture™ to capture a phenom-
enon so common to nineteenth- and early twentieth-century cities: large
Notes to pages “· 
numbers of unmarried males ¬nding their primary human contact in one
another™s company . . . Here, implicitly, was a rejection of the cult of
domesticity so characteristic of bourgeois Victorian life™™ (pp. ±±“); and
Gilfoyle, City of Eros: ˜˜the bachelor attack[ed] . . . the feminized family and
the trappings of domestic life™™ (p. ±°).
 Gilfoyle, City of Eros, p. ±°.
 Chauncey, Gay New York, pp. ·“, and Gorn, The Manly Art, pp. ±±“,
themselves note that the nomenclature is misleading.
µ See Rotundo, American Manhood, pp. ±“ on clubs as alternatives to domes-
ticity, and Laipson, ˜˜I Have No Genius For Marriage,™™ chapter , pp. ±“
±, on clubs as quasi-domestic institutions. On nineteenth-century fraternal
orders as counterparts to domesticity, see Mary Ann Clawson, Constructing
Brotherhood: Class, Gender, and Fraternalism (Princeton University Press, ±),
especially p. ±·µ; and Mark C. Carnes, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian
America (New Haven: Yale University Press, ±), pp. “±µ°.
 In Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation, and Manhood in the Rural South, ±µ“±°
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, ±°), Ted Ownby
employs the geographical description of ˜˜male quarters . . . a few blocks
normally provided the settings for exclusively male professions, services,
and recreations™™ (p. ), a spatial conceptualization which might provide a
useful alternate grid for understanding the multiple subcultures within
which bourgeois men interacted and de¬ned themselves.
· Greg, ˜˜Why Are Women Redundant?™™ p. µ.
 Je¬ Nunokawa emphasizes the sinister aspects of this comment, seeing such
rhetoric ˜˜in a novel that helped transform the Victorian bachelor into the
suspected homosexual™™ (p. ±±) as having a sexually disenfranchising e¬ect;
see ˜˜The Importance of Being Bored: The Dividends of Ennui in The Picture
of Dorian Gray,™™ Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
(ed.), (Durham: Duke University Press, ±·).
 Coontz, The Social Origins of Private Life, p. ·.
° See David Leverenz, Manhood and the American Renaissance: The Subversive
Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville (Ithaca: Cornell University Press,
±), pp. ·“µ, for a discussion of the con¬‚icts that ˜˜entrepreneurial
masculinity™™ entailed for antebellum male writers. See also Cynthia Gri¬n

<<

. 35
( 47 .)



>>