Juliet Appleton is an officer’s daughter who is forced to make her own way in the world after her father’s death. Having been trained in typewriting and shorthand, she obtains employment at a law office, only to find that she cannot bear to work with her unpleasant colleagues and employer.
Juliet possesses some of the characteristics of the infamous “New Woman”: she has attended Girton College, she smokes cigarettes, and she travels the countryside on her bicycle. After various adventures, Juliet finds a new opportunity as a type-writer girl for a publishing company. She falls in love with her employer, and he with her, but complications inevitably ensue.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Canadian-born Grant Allen was a prolific professional author of popular science texts on evolution as well as a fiction writer. The Type-Writer Girl (1897) is one of only two novels he wrote under a female pseudonym, possibly to lend credibility to his first-person female narrator. The Type-Writer Girl invokes tensions typical of the fin de siècle concerning evolution, technology, and the role of women.
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