Case studies of George Eliot and Harriet Martineau
Deborah M. Fratz
In literary studies George Eliot (1819–80) is often identified as the most ardent proponent of realism. Historical discussions of realism frequently invoke her letters, her novels and her review of two works by German ethnographer W. H. Riehl (1823–97). Today we read ‘The Natural History of German Life’ as a kind of manifesto for realist fiction. Eliot famously states that ‘the greatest benefit we owe to the artist, whether painter, poet, or novelist, is the extension of our sympathies’, but she problematises those sympathies when they are
, was ‘not towards extreme opinions’, he being ‘no radical in relation to anything but medical reform’, the associations between medical and
socio-political visions of progress are powerfully, if subtextually, present.8 As
Lydgate’s wife, Rosamond Vincy, tellingly remarks in rebuking her husband,
‘Politics and medicine are sufficiently disagreeable to quarrel upon’.9
The character of Lydgate owes much to Eliot’s personal interest in the
interface between literary and scientific realism.10 However, the figure of
the reforming and socially committed doctor was by no
church of La Gaudaine
ogent-le-Rotrou, where ‘Saint Criard’, the Perche region’s
equivalent of St Mammès, ‘wears peasant clothing, with a goat’s
horn round his neck, and a sheep at his feet, which indicates his
vocation as a shepherd’.18 However, the artist has not forgotten to
show the Cappadocian saint with his belly open, holding his entrails
as one might cradle a string of sausages. This statuary, in its realism,
is very much in tune with popular taste, and we can understand why
the Catholic Church of the Counter-Reformation tried to channel
this creates only adds to the stress that she has been experiencing as she is torn between the societal norms of female caring responsibilities and her own desire for respite and to live a different sort of life. 90
Another source of British social realism presenting the issues of the day, and also defined by opposition to middle-class comedies and dramas, were the films of the so-called British ‘New Wave’, such as A Kind of Loving , Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner . 91 Winning multiple
Iain Hutchison, Martin Atherton, and Jaipreet Virdi
improvement, drove, for example, the establishment of voluntary hospitals in Scotland. It demonstrates how notions of physical and moral reform were exported across the British Empire. And it shows how perceptions of disability and chronic illness became a literary trope in the genre of ‘Realism’, revealing the depth of the perspectives of the comfortable classes and leading to their enrichment of all aspects of the Victorian psyche.
Amy Farnbach Pearson ( Chapter 1 ) opens Part I by exploring the values and motivations of charitably
(Harley, 1988 ; Knorr-Cetina and Amann, 1990 ) and as objects that invoke the users’ attention in their everyday practices (Vertesi, 2008 ). In particular, concerning the problem of representation in science, Sergio Sismondo and Nicholas Chrisman's analysis on realism (2001) provides us with necessary guidance. Using a map as both a metaphor and a means of interpretation, they established a metaphysical frame for approaching reality based on deflationary philosophy, arguing that scientific representations are maps embedded in a particular kind of practice and for a
Variations on the abdomen in Marivaux’s L’Homère travesti and Le
delve into this strange development, in order to show how it plays a part in the desacralisation of
the hero and a return of realism.
The belly of the hero: a new battlefield
Marivaux’s parodies follow the burlesque tradition, which is particularly characterised by the traditional procedure of inversion.
Potbelly, paunch and innards
What is noble becomes base, and the noble style disappears in
favour of a more colloquial vocabulary. The abdominal part of
the body is no exception. In Le Télémaque travesti and L’Homère
travesti, the use of ‘potbelly’ and ‘paunch
University Press, 2000).
Sigsworth and Worboys, ‘The Public's View’, 244; Helen Bynum, ‘Riding the Waves: Optimism and Realism in the Treatment of Tuberculosis’, Lancet 380 (2012), 1465–6.
‘The Whooping Cough Cure’, Gippsland Times (7 January, 1926), http
The hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William
P. Parrinder, ‘ News from Nowhere , The Time Machine , and the break-up of classical realism’, Science Fiction Studies , 3:3 (November 1976), 265–74 (p. 269).
See Brown, Life against Death , 294–5; Rozin, ‘Disgust’, 642.
C. McGinn, The
a faithful record of events. And yet, much of the detail of
her book seems to be offered with realism in mind – as when she
describes a typical day at the First London General Hospital, in which
VADs sweep floors, dust lockers, empty bedpans, ‘take down’ dressings, cut up food, make swabs, pad splints, and rub patients’ ‘backs’.72
Rathbone’s work has contradiction at its core. On the one hand, its
descriptions of hospital life are vivid and arresting, and contain sufficient detail to convince the reader that they are drawn from life.
On the other, the book