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The visionary imagination in late Victorian literature

This study, which examines a range of canonical and less-well-known writers, is a reassessment of late Victorian literature in its relation to visionary Romanticism. It examines six late Victorian writers – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee, Eugene Lee-Hamilton, Theodore Watts-Dunton and Thomas Hardy – to reveal their commitment to a Romantic visionary tradition that surfaces towards the end of the nineteenth century in response to the threat of a growing materialism. Offering detailed readings of both poetry and prose, the book shows the different ways in which late Victorian writers move beyond materiality, though without losing a commitment to it, to explore the mysterious relation between the seen and the unseen. It is a re-evaluation of the post-Romantic visionary imagination, with implications for our understanding of literary modernism.

The gothic and death is the first ever published study to investigate how the multifarious strands of the Gothic and the concepts of death, dying, mourning, and memorialization – what the Editor broadly refers to as "the Death Question" – have intersected and been configured cross-culturally to diverse ends from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day. Drawing on recent scholarship in Gothic Studies, film theory, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Thanatology Studies, to which fields it seeks to make a valuable contribution, this interdisciplinary collection of fifteen essays by international scholars considers the Gothic’s engagement, by way of its unique necropolitics and necropoetics, with death’s challenges to all systems of meaning, and its relationship to the culturally contingent concepts of memento mori, subjectivity, spectrality, and corporeal transcendence. Attentive to our defamiliarization with death since the advent of enlightened modernity and the death-related anxieties engendered by that transition, The gothic and death combines detailed attention to socio-historical and cultural contexts with rigorous close readings of artistic, literary, televisual, and cinematic works. This surprisingly underexplored area of enquiry is considered by way of such popular and uncanny figures as corpses, ghosts, zombies, and vampires, and across various cultural and literary forms as Graveyard Poetry, Romantic poetry, Victorian literature, nineteenth-century Italian and Russian literature, Anglo-American film and television, contemporary Young Adult fiction, Bollywood film noir, and new media technologies that complicate our ideas of mourning, haunting, and the "afterlife" of the self.

David Amigoni

, the deeply uneasy opening of another. The field of Victorian literature and science studies has in its own illustrious past arguably been dominated by the heavyweights of literature and evolutionary science in the canonical mid-Victorian period, c.1850–80: George Eliot, the early Thomas Hardy, Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley. Eliot and Hardy were writers who were self-consciously literate consumers of Victorian scientific writing and Gillian Beer, in Darwin’s Plots (1983), has been the most authoritative

in Interventions
Liberalism and liberalisation in the niche of nature, culture, and technology
Regenia Gagnier

limits and contingency of one’s own perspective. This chapter will consider some implications for Victorian Studies suggested by recent developments in the fields of world literatures and globalisation studies. It will draw attention to the global scope of Victorian literature as an actant in world affairs, as in processes of liberalisation, democratisation, and trade, but also to the specificity of each local environment and moment of transculturation. It hopes to make a methodological intervention on behalf of

in Interventions
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Rethinking the nineteenth century
Editors: and

This book addresses a number of concerns that have emerged in recent scholarship on the nineteenth century. It contributes to existing dialogues that consider how the nineteenth century can be thought about and critically rethought through literature and other kinds of textual production. The book offers a theoretical consideration of the concept of the nineteenth century by considering Walter Benjamin's famous work The Arcades Project, focusing on Arnold Bennett's entitled 'The Rising Storm of Life'. It outlines how recent developments in Gothic studies have provided new ways of critically reflecting upon the nineteenth century. The book draws attention to the global scope of Victorian literature, and explores the exchanges which took place between Indian and British cultures. It argues that attending to the fashioning of American texts by British publishers enables people to rethink the emergence of American literature as a material as well as an imaginative phenomenon. The relationship between literature and the European anatomical culture is carried out by exploring nineteenth-century narratives from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the first decades of the nineteenth-century to Charles Dickens's fiction in the 1860s. Historical fiction writers' persistent fascination with the long nineteenth century enacts a simultaneous drawing near to and distancing from the period, the lives of its inhabitants and its cultural icons, aesthetic discourses and canonical works. Adaptive practice in the neo-Victorian novel, applied both to Victorian literary precursors and the period more generally, may be better described as adaptive reuse or, perhaps appropriative reuse.

Vampires, lesbians and masturbators
Diane Mason

This chapter considers the relationship between Laura, the narrator, and Carmilla, her vampire predator, in the supernatural tale, ‘Carmilla’, by J.S. Le Fanu (1871–72). It examines the way in which the medical pathologies of masturbation and consumption can be seen to map over the occult pathology of vampirism, concentrating particularly on the face as a locus of signification as to an individual's health and character. It also explores the relationship between masturbation, consumption and female same-sex desire, and shows how these lesbian liaisons were often described in predatory or vampiric terms in both pornographic and mainstream Victorian literature.

in The secret vice
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The earliest image of an ambulatory mummy
Jasmine Day

This chapter focuses on a British illustration for Edgar Allan Poe’s satirical short story ‘Some Words with a Mummy’ (1845), which was published posthumously in an anthology of his works in 1852. This illustration is the earliest known visual depiction of a revived Egyptian mummy, a character that later became an archetypal figure in Victorian literature. This chapter situates the unknown artist’s vision of the fictional mummy Allamistakeo within the history of visual and literary depictions of mummies and the sociopolitical discourses they articulated, comparing the illustrator’s engagement within contemporary debates with those suggested by Poe’s text. While Poe does not assign a racial identity to Allamistakeo, the illustrator gives the mummy an African appearance, evoking scientific disputes about the racial origins of the ancient Egyptians. In bringing to light this illustration and analysing it as part of the wider corpus of mummy literature as well as the racial debates that this body of literature responded to and furthered, this chapter demonstrates that both Poe and his illustrator invited contemporary readers to question commonly held racial stereotypes and European imperialist ideology.

in Victorian literary culture and ancient Egypt
Protection of animals in nineteenth-century Britain

This book explores for the first time women’s leading roles in animal protection in nineteenth-century Britain. Victorian women founded pioneering bodies such as the Battersea Dogs’ Home, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the first anti-vivisection society. They intervened directly to stop abuses, promoted animal welfare, and schooled the young in humane values via the Band of Mercy movement. They also published literature that, through strongly argued polemic or through imaginative storytelling, notably in Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, showed man’s unjustifiable cruelty to animals. In all these enterprises, they encountered opponents who sought to discredit and thwart their efforts by invoking age-old notions of female ‘sentimentality’ or ‘hysteria’, which supposedly needed to be checked by ‘masculine’ pragmatism, rationality and broadmindedness, especially where men’s field sports were concerned. To counter any public perception of extremism, conservative bodies such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for long excluded women from executive roles, despite their crucial importance as donors and grassroots activists. However, women’s growing opportunities for public work in philanthropic projects and the development of militant feminism, running in parallel with campaigns for the vote, gave them greater boldness in expressing their distinctive view of animal–human relations, in defiance of patriarchy. In analysing all these historic factors, the book unites feminist perspectives, especially constructions of gender, with the fast-developing field of animal–human history.

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A New Naval History brings together the most significant and interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary naval history. The last few decades have witnessed a transformation in how this topic is researched and understood, and this volume captures the state of a field that continues to develop apace. It examines – through the prism of naval affairs – issues of nationhood and imperialism; the legacy of Nelson; the sociocultural realities of life in ships and naval bases; and the processes of commemoration, journalism and stage-managed pageantry that plotted the interrelationship of ship and shore. This bold and original publication will be essential for undergraduate and postgraduate students of naval and maritime history. Beyond that, though, it marks an important intervention into wider historiographies that will be read by scholars from across the spectrum of social history, cultural studies and the analysis of national identity.

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Helena Ifill

, suggesting alternatives without necessarily endorsing them’.2 Some conservative readers may well have found themselves wishing, at least for a moment, that Miss Gwilt and Midwinter’s marriage had been a success, even if they were more comfortable with the ending as it stands. To look at the sometimes frustrating assumptions about class, race, gender and sexuality embedded in the Victorian literature (fictional and otherwise) covered in Creating Character could give modern readers a sense of superiority. It is easy to think that we have grown beyond prejudices in which our

in Creating character