By Emelyne Godfrey (auth.)
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Additional resources for Femininity, Crime and Self-Defence in Victorian Literature and Society: From Dagger-Fans to Suffragettes
Like Ramage, Colonel Baker, uses ‘a conversation on theatres’3 to reel in his intended prey and Ramage attempts to lure Ann Veronica by softening her with a trip to see Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and sits too close to Ann Veronica in their hansom cab. Whilst travelling in a first-class compartment to London on 17 June 1875, Colonel Valentine Baker (1827–1887) – an army reformer and friend of the Prince of Wales – had allegedly tried to ‘kiss’ her ‘on the lips’ and put ‘his hand underneath [her] dress, on [her] stocking, above [her] boot’.
72–73). Her response to Tess’s misfortune is tantamount to a futile never mind. As the reader knows, Mrs Durbeyfield regretted sending her daughter away as she watched her leaving with Alec. She swallowed her own fears when she should have acted to prevent her daughter being put into Alec’s care. When Richard Sedley’s sister, Lady Augusta Clevedon, consoles Marion, she dismisses Marion’s concerns relating to the suitability of the marriage and Philip’s bad temper and hypocritically pontificates that ‘women are all the better for a little frightening’ (Azrael, 1, p.
19). Ramage’s chivalrous gestures and words are certainly timed and designed to gain Ann Veronica’s trust. Ramage ‘hand[s] Miss Stanley to the platform as though she had been a duchess’ (Ann Veronica, p. 27) and later tells her that it is not indecent for older men and younger women to fraternize unchaperoned, adding the phrase of the Knights of the Garter, ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (Ann Veronica, p. 79). In Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Mr Hargrave, offers to be Helen Huntingdon’s ‘protector’ and yet he ‘insults’ her with his predatory sexual advances (Tenant of Wildfell Hall, p.
Femininity, Crime and Self-Defence in Victorian Literature and Society: From Dagger-Fans to Suffragettes by Emelyne Godfrey (auth.)