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Victor Gollancz Ltd.

In Carter’s novel highly heterogeneous influences interweave in the paradigm of the female community and they result in a contradictory and sometimes paradoxical model of the city of women. In PNE, even the name of the gynocratic community defines a specific satiric intention. As a literary topos, Beulah appears for the first time in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and is defined as a place "upon the border of Heaven" through which "pilgrims pass on to eternal life" (155). The "daughters of Beulah" in William Blake’s works are the Muses inspiring the poet (420). Both Bunyan and Blake, moreover, seem to suggest that Beulah is the ideal place for the perfect patriarchal marriage. -Nicoletta Vallorani