A Summary and Analysis of George Egerton’s ‘A Cross Line’

Posted: September 10, 2017 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

How a little-known short-story writer broke new literary ground

‘A Cross Line’ first appeared in George Egerton’s 1893 collection of short stories, Keynotes. Egerton, whose real name was Mary Chavelita Dunne (she was nicknamed ‘Chav’ long before that word came to mean something else), has a claim to being the first female modernist writer in English. In ‘A Cross Line’ and a handful of other short stories from the 1890s, she pioneered an elliptical, impressionistic style of fiction that later writers such as Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf would bring to a wider readership.

‘A Cross Line’ is one of Egerton’s greatest triumphs. But since the story is relatively unknown, it’s worth rehearsing a brief summary of the plot before moving to a consideration and analysis of the story’s literary style and its key themes. An unnamed woman meets a grey-eyed man who is fishing, and the two strike…

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