This guide to Victorian Literature and Culture provides students with the ideal introduction to literature and its context from 1837-1900, including: - the historical, cultural and intellectual background including politics and economics, popular culture, philosophy - major writers and genres including the Brontes, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy, Trollope, Thackeray, Conan Doyle, Ibsen, Shaw, Hopkins, Rossetti and Tennyson - concise explanations of key terms needed to understand the literature and criticism - key critical approaches - a chronology mapping historical events and literary works and further reading including websites and electronic resources.
Examining a wide range of historical, artistic, literary, and theoretical works, Galia Ofek shows how changing patterns of power relations between women and patriarchy are rendered anew when viewed through the lens of Victorian hair codes and imagery during the second half of the nineteenth century. Her innovative study reveals the Victorians' well-developed awareness of fetishism and their cognizance of hair's symbolic resonance and commercial value.
The Victorian period was a time of rapid cultural change, whichresulted in a huge and varied literary output. A New Companionto Victorian Literature and Culture offers experienced guidanceto the literature of nineteenth-century Britain and its social andhistorical context. This revised and expanded edition comprisescontributions from over 30 leading scholars who, approaching theVictorian epoch from different positions and traditions, delve intothe unruly complexities of the Victorian imagination. Divided into five parts, this new companion surveys sevendecades of history before examining the keys phases in a Victorianlife, the leading professions and walks of life, the majorVictorian literary genres, and the way Victorians defined theirpersons, their homes, and their national identities. Importanttopics such as sexuality, denominational faith, social class, andglobal empire inform each chapter’s approach. Each chapterprovides a comprehensive bibliography of established and emergingscholarship.
Medicine, Knowledge and the Spectacle of Victorian Invisibility
Author: Monika Pietrzak-Franger
Category: Literary Criticism
This book addresses the evident but unexplored intertwining of visibility and invisibility in the discourses around syphilis. A rethinking of the disease with reference to its ambiguous status, and the ways of seeing that it generated, helps reconsider the network of socio-cultural and political interrelations which were negotiated through syphilis, thereby also raising larger questions about its function in the construction of individual, national and imperial identities. This book is the first large-scale interdisciplinary study of syphilis in late Victorian Britain whose significance lies in its unprecedented attention to the multimedia and multi-discursive evocations of syphilis. An examination of the heterogeneous sources that it offers, many of which have up to this point escaped critical attention, makes it possible to reveal the complex and poly-ideological reasons for the activation of syphilis imagery and its symbolic function in late Victorian culture.
The Industrial Imaginary in Victorian Literature and Culture
Author: Tamara Siroone Ketabgian
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Today we commonly describe ourselves as machines that "let off steam" or feel "under pressure." The Lives of Machines investigates how Victorian technoculture came to shape this language of human emotion so pervasively and irrevocably and argues that nothing is more intensely human and affecting than the nonhuman. Tamara Ketabgian explores the emergence of a modern and more mechanical view of human nature in Victorian literature and culture. Treating British literature from the 1830s to the 1870s, this study examines forms of feeling and community that combine the vital and the mechanical, the human and the nonhuman, in surprisingly hybrid and productive alliances. Challenging accounts of industrial alienation that still persist, the author defines mechanical character and feeling not as erasures or negations of self, but as robust and nuanced entities in their own right. The Lives of Machines thus offers an alternate cultural history that traces sympathies between humans, animals, and machines in novels and nonfiction about factory work as well as in other unexpected literary sites and genres, whether domestic, scientific, musical, or philosophical. Ketabgian historicizes a model of affect and community that continues to inform recent theories of technology, psychology, and the posthuman. The Lives of Machines will be of interest to students of British literature and history, history of science and of technology, novel studies, psychoanalysis, and postmodern cultural studies.
Representations of Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture
Author: Deborah Denenholz Morse
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Category: Literary Criticism
The contributors examine various forms of human dominion over animals as manifest in fiction, performance, and the visual arts, as well as in hunting, killing, vivisection, and zookeeping. Distinguished by its acknowledgment of how the Victorians' obsession with animals continues to haunt twenty-first-century animal rights debates, Victorian Animal Dreams provides valuable insight into the burgeoning field of animal studies and points toward future studies of animals in the Victorian period.
Gender and Narrative Form in Victorian Literature and Culture
Author: Elizabeth Langland
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Publisher's description: Telling Tales offers new and original readings of novels by Charlotte Brontë, Anne Brontë, Thomas Hardy, Margaret Oliphant, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. It also presents new archival material on the lives and stories of working-class women in Victorian Britain. Finally, it sets forth innovative interpretations of the complex ways in which gender informs the abstract cultural narratives--like space, aesthetic value, and nationality--through which a populace comes to know and position itself. Focusing on the interrelations of form, gender, and culture in narratives of the Victorian period, Telling Tales explores the close interplay between gender as manifest in specific literary works and gender as manifest in Victorian culture. The latter does not reflect a shift away from form toward culture, but rather a steady concern of form-in-culture. Reading and analyzing Victorian novels provides an education for reading and interpreting the broader culture. The book's several chapters explore and pose answers to important questions about the impact of gender on narrative in Victorian culture: How do women writers respond to themes and narrative structures of precursor male writers? What are the very real differences that shape a newly emerging tradition of female authorship? How does gender enter into the determination of aesthetic value? How does gender enter into the national imaginarylthe idea of Englishness? In exploring these key concerns, Telling Tales establishes a broad terrain for future inquiries that take gender as an organizing term and principle for analysis of narratives in all periods.