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Phrenology in Britain during the first decade of the nineteenth century
William Hughes

The origins of phrenology are Continental rather than British. The opening chapter therefore surveys the earliest theories of an identifiable phrenology – those formulated by the German physician Franz Joseph Gall in Vienna – as they were reported in the British press. The religious controversy surrounding Gall’s studies, which were ostensibly associated with a form of secularism incompatible with Roman Catholic spirituality, is noted for its prominence in British popular reportage, where authors were quick to avail themselves of the opportunity to enjoin in xenophobic mockery. Gall’s extensive tour of Europe, which followed the apparently hostile reception by the Austrian authorities, is then considered, and hitherto unreprinted reports of the doctor’s earliest phrenological experiments are quoted and analysed. These include both favourable accounts and others which dismissed phrenology as a fad already in decline, and thus not likely to attract any following in Britain. The possibility of Gall travelling to Britain, and of his analysing the crania of the upper classes, was similarly the subject of mocking journalism. The chapter reproduces some of the earliest graphic images of the phrenological model of the skull and discusses and explains the significance of the earliest tabulation of the phrenological organs to appear in the English language. Notably, the fluid and developing nature of the phrenological map of character is acknowledged, and the debate about the function and location of different organs is played out in the popular press. This is an important chapter as it outlines the earliest incarnation of phrenology in anglophone culture.

in The dome of thought
Nineteenth-century stage Cleopatras and Victorian views of ancient Egypt
Molly Youngkin

brought into European homes as pets by the tenth century ce though they were initially viewed as ‘demonic’, associated with witches and seen as an ‘agent of the devil’. 44 By the eighteenth century, however, Europeans developed ‘affection’ for them, since ‘sentimentalism’ and ‘secularism’ facilitated a kinder view. 45 As more people had pet cats and began to see them as ‘friends’, there followed a rehabilitation of the cat, especially through literary representations of

in Victorian literary culture and ancient Egypt
W. J. McCormack

precision, profusion and ‘claritas’ of the depicted comestibles, together with the careful representation of clothing, ceramics and other human artefacts, cannot be accounted for simply in the appeal of secularism. 6 At the price of interrupting this little history of Dutch art in one of its aspects, some interpretation of Beuckelaer’s painting should be attempted. Not only does the

in Dissolute characters
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The economics of salvation in Dracula and the Twilight Saga
Jennifer H Williams

Churchman’, Jonathan aligns himself with Victorian Anglicanism and appears uncomfortable with anything that smacks of Roman Catholicism. On the other hand, as one who is ‘nineteenth century up-to-date with a vengeance’ (40), he is also a proponent of nineteenth-century secularism. This secularism is represented by Jonathan and the rest of the Crew of Light’s use of modern gadgets. Jonathan’s commitment to

in Open Graves, Open Minds
W. J. McCormack

dreadful deal he has struck with Melmoth, he uses a contrast of secular and theological terms which underlines the terror of residual belief in an age of increasing secularism – ‘He has taken my self, and given me his soul in exchange.’ 13 Prior to this unequal deal, he may have been fooled by his mistress, Aquilina, but he quickly finds the stockbroker, Claparon, to whom he

in Dissolute characters
Constructing death constructing death in the 1790s–1820s
Andrew Smith

tensions between the ‘real’ and the ‘constructed’ bear witness to the emergence of the secular uncanny, which Diane Long Hoeveler has explored at length in Gothic Riffs (2010). For Hoeveler, ‘the gothic needs to be understood, not as a reaction against the rise of secularism, but as part of the ambivalent secularizing process itself’. 3 There has been much critical

in Gothic death 1740–1914
HBO’s True Blood
Michelle J Smith

excruciating pain, exposure to sunlight will gradually kill, and a stake through the heart will instantly reduce a vampire to a mess of sticky ooze. The total loss of religion’s power against the vampire dispenses with a need for faith in a God to ensure protection and reflects a diminishing belief in Christianity that has its roots in an increasing secularism, fostered originally by the Enlightenment; it is

in Open Graves, Open Minds
Poe, Brontë and Eliot
Andrew Smith

reflection. 37 However, death in the Gothic produces another way of looking at these concerns as it works through issues about creativity and interpretation that it has inherited from an earlier Gothic tradition. It is also characterised by the ambivalent secularism that Hoeveler has identified in the period. Even Poe’s apprehension of the divine is one predicated on an absent God who may come back to us at

in Gothic death 1740–1914
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Adapting classical myth as Gothic romance
I.Q. Hunter

’s imperialist films, such as The Abominable Snowman (1957), The Stranglers of Bombay and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires , employ otherwise racist commonplaces about the purity and naive primitivism of other cultures in order to criticise the violence, secularism and hypocrisy of the West. 6 The trope of woman as transcendent Other is a means of countering the male-identified world of science and rationality with an

in Monstrous adaptations
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Gothic conspiracy and the eyes of Lara Means
Julia M. Wright

Something happens to US gothic television as its narratives develop – it folds back in on its cultural origins, turning from contemporary secularism or broad religious inclusiveness to Catholicism and its gothic accoutrements. Supernatural in the first three seasons is entirely centered on folk beliefs, exposing a Christian faith healer, for instance, as successful

in Men with stakes