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Defeatured women
Naomi Baker

Beauty, these anti-cosmetic treatises suggest, belongs to divinely ordained nature alone. Impudent efforts to alter one’s appearance result in ugliness. The beautiful, implicitly, passively submit to the created order, while the ugly have wilfully and deplorably departed from it. Ugliness, in other words, is that which perverts God’s natural order and is linked to female attempts to construct an

in Plain ugly
Jacqueline Furby

This essay deals with the temporality of film through an examination of narrative, structure and image in Sam Mendes’ film American Beauty (2000), referring to both Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson‘s work on time. I argue that the repetition of formal elements (images, settings, colours, shapes, and textures) creates a kind of internal rhyme that is suggested appeals to human aesthetic rhythmic sensibilities and invites the spectators imaginative interplay. This temporal pattern speaks of a particularly human rhythmic design, and provides an escape from the ‘standardised, context free, homogeneous’ clock time ‘that structures and times our daily lives’.

Film Studies
Susan M. Johns

The idea of Nest as a great beauty has been central to her story in the modern historiography of Wales, and is based on readings and interpretations of Brut y Tywysogion . J. E. Lloyd followed Edward Laws’s interpretation of Nest as a great beauty in the mould of Helen of Troy. 1 Lloyd’s romantic view of the abduction was placed into a political context, and the reference to Homer in Lloyd’s History saw the event in terms of a heroic and epic tragedy for Wales. 2 More recent scholars have accepted this interpretation of Nest; for

in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages
Speech! Speech! (2000)
Jeffrey Wainwright

In a seminar discussion following a performance of Alban Berg, I recall a member of the Lindsay String Quartet saying that, unlike all that had gone before, modern music ‘is allowed to be ugly’. ‘Beauty’ might indeed be said to be a problem for many twentieth-century artists. In his essay on Ezra Pound’s ‘Envoi (1919)’ in The Enemy’s Country Geoffrey Hill quotes Pound’s assertion ‘Beauty is difficult’ ( EC p. 96), a quotation from the first of the ‘Pisan Cantos’, LXXIV

in Acceptable words
National heroines and defenders of liberty
Jeff Rosen

4 Byron’s ‘Beauties’: national heroines and defenders of liberty Byron, Taylor, Cameron George Gordon, Lord Byron, died in 1824, but among Victorian writers, his legacy and influence were lasting. Among Cameron’s circle, William Thackeray, Aubrey de Vere, and Henry Taylor all ‘scorned Byron outright’, dismissing his enduring popularity because they considered his work vulgar, even offensive.1 But throughout her decade of photography, Julia Margaret Cameron regularly drew inspiration from Byron’s poetry and represented his most popular heroines as ‘fancy subjects

in Julia Margaret Cameron’s ‘fancy subjects’
Jes Wienberg

Khaldûn, for instance: history is tremendously popular across national borders, peoples, and social groups. History has several purposes – gathering knowledge so as to be able to describe, understand, and explain both the past and the present, narrating so as to entertain and to counter oblivion. And history searches for truth, strives after beauty in its style, and possesses both ethical and philosophical dimensions. Herodotus, who has been called the “father of history”, thus began his work Histories from the fifth century BCE with these words: What

in Heritopia
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Silvia Granata

Current ideas of beauty were central to the aquarium experience. Due to the very nature of the tank, the hobby was mostly conceptualised in terms of visual consumption. As we know from the growing corpus of visual studies, the understanding of vision and attention was greatly complicated in this period, and the tank (which promised opportunities of total vision but also entailed deeply unfamiliar spectacles) was insistently framed within debates about seeing. But what did Victorian aquarists want, or expect, to see? The answer is by no means easy or intuitive

in The Victorian aquarium
Claire Nally

Whilst the focus of much criticism has addressed goth as a subculture, considerably less attention has been given to the gendered status of marketing and advertising in subcultural magazines, whilst ‘glossy’ goth magazines have enjoyed little concerted analysis at all. Subcultures are frequently represented by participants and critics as ‘idyllic’ spaces in which the free play of gender functions as distinct from the ‘mainstream’ culture. However, as Brill (2008), Hodkinson (2002) and Spooner (2004) have identified, this is unfortunately an idealistic critical position. Whilst goth men may embrace an ‘androgynous’ appearance, goth women frequently espouse a look which has much in common with traditional feminine values. Slippages between subcultural marketing and mainstream advertising are frequent and often neotraditional in their message regarding masculinity and femininity. In using critiques of postfeminism alongside subcultural theory, I seek to reevaluate how gender functions in these publications. By close inspection of scene representations of ‘goth’ in the twenty-first-century through magazines such as Gothic Beauty (US), Unscene and Devolution (UK), as well as interviews with participants, I argue women’s goth fashion, sexuality and body image often (but not exclusively) represent a hyperfemininity which draws from conventional ideas of womanhood.

Gothic Studies
Guido Rebecchini

Working in collaboration with others, Agostino Veneziano produced three remarkable prints representing nude women seated or standing beside spectacular allantica vases and set before ruinous landscapes. This article investigates the authorship and origin of these unusual images. It suggests that the vases are presented as a metaphor for female beauty, and relates the visual rhetoric of these three prints to the writings of contemporary writers, including Agnolo Firenzuola (1493–1543), who described the beauty of women in relation to the elegant proportions of such vases.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Costume, performance and power in 1953
Lisa Mullen

down both his own ‘innate Republicanism’ and the ‘Rotarian, have-the-next-one-on-me-old-boy jollity’ of ‘the saloon bar gang’: It was fascinating to see them fight the strange beauty, the formal Byzantinism of the ceremony that appeared on screen. They were prepared, of course, for an occasional catch in the throat, a moment of lowered head, but the elaborate grace before them demanded less perfunctory reverence … It was nice to see the ‘gang’ so put out when they least expected it. 66

in Mid-century gothic