The Circular Staircase Summary
Mary Roberts Rinehart

Everything you need to understand or teach The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart.

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The Circular Staircase Summary

While Rinehart's comments on social issues would later be eagerly sought by the readers of mass market magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Ladies' Home Journal, in her early novels she concentrated almost entirely on plot and character. Yet The Circular Staircase is not devoid of an interest in the limitations of the author's own upper-middle-class environment. Its main character, Miss Rachel Innes, is a spinster, an anomalous figure in a society which saw wife and mother as the only acceptable roles for a woman. Most spinsters were financially dependent and condemned to stereotypically feminine (and low-paying) occupations such as teachers, nurses, shop clerks, and office workers.

The fictional Miss Rachel Innes is released from those constraints in The Circular Staircase and is free to use her intelligence and insight to unravel the complexities of the situations in which she finds herself...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The The Circular Staircase Study Pack contains:

The Circular Staircase Short Guide

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