Modern women, mobility, and maternity

Emily Anna Maria RIDGE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This article probes the complex relationship between mobility and maternity in the works of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century writers, including Mona Caird, Grant Allen, Elizabeth Von Arnim, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, among others. The maternal role came under intense scrutiny from the fin de siècle and the freedom of the mother was a source of contention at a time when women were embracing new opportunities for adventurous travel more broadly. Where did parental expectation or responsibility enter into the women and travel picture? This article explores various attempts to conceive of a free motherhood during the period and to conceive of the womb as something dynamic and empowering rather than burdensome. Finally, honing in on bag-womb analogies, it asks what it meant for a woman to "carry," both materially and metaphorically, in the context of turn-of-the-century debates surrounding female mobility and motherhood. Copyright © 2015 Berghahn Journals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-53
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


Ridge, E. (2015). Modern women, mobility, and maternity. Journeys, 16(1), 29-53. doi: 10.3167/jys.2015.160103


  • Bags
  • Carriage
  • Maternity
  • Mobility
  • New woman
  • Wombs
  • Women


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