chapter
8 Pages

Introduction: Myths of Translation

The language master initially has the power to choose the cultural material presented in the foreign language, although as the pupil masters the language, they can access other texts without assistance or further mediation. With language providing access to other cultural spheres, the boundaries could be, penetrated by women such as Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and George Eliot. Their respective educations, often self-motivated, reveal the value of mastering the master by determining their own potential and development. The master/pupil relationship was a concept that dominated the lives and works of many Victorian authors. It is well established in nineteenth-century women's studies that the three most powerful figures in the Victorian woman's life were her father, husband and brother. To varying degrees, Brontë, Martineau and Eliot were able to live across boundaries of mastery and learning in a very powerful way, challenging and stretching the parameters imposed upon nineteenth-century women.