Saskia McCracken completed her doctoral thesis, on Virginia Woolf’s Darwinian animal tropes, at the University of Glasgow. Her publications include work in Virginia Woolf, Europe, and Peace: Aesthetics and Theory (Clemson and Liverpool University Press, 2020), The Modern Short Story and Magazine Culture: 1880-1950 (Edinburgh University Press, 2021), Matraga: Modernist Prose in Contemporaneity (UERJ, October 2020), Crossing Borders: Transnational Modernism Beyond the Human (Brill, forthcoming), and Flush: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
Virginia Woolf Writes Empire and Extinction
Feather fashions were the subject of heated debate between the 1860s and 1920s, with feather-wearing women held largely accountable by anti-plumage trade campaigners for the decimation of exotic bird species. The UK Plumage (Prohibition) Bill of 1920, which sought to ban the importation of feathers used in women’s fashion, was the subject of Woolf’s “earliest feminist polemic,” her narrative essay “The Plumage Bill” (1920), which challenged the “injustice to women” implicit in the language of the plumage trade debate.