Dorothy Richardson

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Though acknowledged by literary circles as the first writer to use the stream-of-consciousness technique in her writing, Dorothy Richardson is not as widely recognized as the founder of this style. Her mannerisms and thought processes were affected for the rest of her life by her upbringing in a poverty-stricken family. Brought into the world in 1873, Richardson was destined for stereotypical feminine occupations: a tutor-governess in Hanover and London, a secretary, and an assistant. Her mother’s suicide in 1895 completely broke up the family, only adding to the need for Richardson to find a means of supporting herself. Fortunately, Richardson became involved with the socialists in the area, as well with the people living in Bloomsbury, and soon after she abandoned her secretarial work. She became involved in translations and freelance journalism as an introduction to the bohemian lifestyle; from there she met and married Alan Odel, a much younger man who was somewhat of a cult figure in bohemia at the time, with his waist length hair he wore wrapped around his head.

Throughout her lifetime, Richardson published a large number of essays, short stories, poems, as well as sketches. Most famous is her Pilgrimage series, a thirteen novel project that was the first in literature to employ what Richardson preferred to call “interior monologues.” Pointed Roofs was the first novel in the series and consequentially, the first to introduce such a style of writing. She presented the story with a sense of immediacy, rather than from a retrospective view. Instead of telling narratives in the sense that the realists did, Richardson let the current moment monopolize the literature so that the present could prevail over the past. It...

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Hanscombe, Gillian E. The Art of Life: Dorothy Richardson and the Development of

Feminist Consciousness. Athens: Ohio Universty P, 1983.

Staley, Thomas F. Dorothy Richardson. Boston: Twayne, 1976.

Winning, Joanne. The Pilgrimage of Dorothy Richardson . Wisconsin Press. 21 Mar.

2004 <>.

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