The Story of a Modern Woman
Edited by Steve Farmer
Ella Hepworth Dixon’s "The Story of a Modern Woman" originally appeared in serial form in the women’s weekly The Lady’s Pictorial. Like Hepworth Dixon was herself, the novel’s heroine Mary Erle is a woman writer struggling to make her living as a journalist in the 1880s. Forced by her father’s sudden death to support herself, Mary Erle turns to writing three-penny-a-line fiction, works that (as her editor insists) must have a ball in the first volume, a picnic and a parting in the second, and an opportune death in the third.
Steve Farmer is a lecturer in the Department of English at Arizona State University.