Search results

New essays on experiences of culture and society

Over the past quarter of a century, the study of nineteenth-century Hispanic culture and society has undergone two major shifts. The first was a rejection of 'the myth of backwardness', a notion that these cultures and societies were exceptions that trailed behind the wider West.. The second trend was a critical focus on a core triad of nation, gender and representation. This volume of essays provides a strong focus for the exploration and stimulation of substantial new areas of inquiry. The shared concern is with how members of the cultural and intellectual elite in the nineteenth century conceived or undertook major activities that shaped their lives. The volume looks at how people did things without necessarily framing questions of motive or incentive in terms that would bring the debate back to a master system of gender, racial, ethnographic, or national proportions. It reviews some key temporal dilemmas faced by a range of nineteenth-century Spanish writers. The volume explores how they employed a series of narrative and rhetorical techniques to articulate the consequent complexities. It also looks at how a number of religious figures negotiated the relationship between politics and religion in nineteenth-century Spain. The volume concentrates on a spectrum of writings and practices within popular literature that reflect on good and bad conduct in Spain through the nineteenth century. Among other topics, it provides information on how to be a man, be a writer for the press, a cultural entrepreneur, an intellectual, and a colonial soldier.

Phantoms, fantasy and uncanny flowers
Editor: Sue Edney

This collection draws together scholarship from across fields of ecocriticism, ecoGothic, garden history, Romantic and Victorian studies and environmental humanities to explore how the garden in nineteenth-century Europe could be a place of disturbance, malevolence and haunting. Ranging from early nineteenth-century German fairy romance to early twentieth-century turbulence in children’s stories, gardens feature as containers and catalysts for emotional, spiritual and physical encounters between vegetal and human lives. The garden is considered a restorative place, yet plants are not passive: they behave in accordance with their own needs; they can ignore or engage with humankind in their own interests. In these chapters, human and vegetal agency is interpreted through ecoGothic investigation of uncanny manifestations in gardens – hauntings, psychic encounters, monstrous hybrids, fairies and ghosts – with plants, greenhouses, granges, mansions, lakes, lawns, flowerbeds and trees as agents and sites of uncanny developments, leading to disaster and death, radical life-changes, wisdom and sorrow. These Gothic garden stories illustrate our anxieties related to destruction at any level, and the chapters here provide unique insights from across the long nineteenth century into how plant life interacts uncannily with human distress and well-being.

Work, play and politics
Author: Sara Lodge

This book is about Thomas Hood, a nineteenth-century writer and illustrator whose work is characterized by play. It argues that looking closely at Hood illuminates three areas of nineteenth-century cultural production that modern scholarship has yet fully to explore: the output of the years 1824-40; comic poetry; and the grotesque. These three areas of discomfort are linked, each of them threatens boundaries that are convenient for literary criticism. The book explores Hood's early career at the London Magazine, restoring the dynamic context in which he began experimenting with voice and genre. It examines the connection between the London's liberal politics and its culture of play. The book concerns with the effects of Hood's remarkably pluralistic approach to words, texts, and readers, both as material entities and as imaginative projections. It considers Hood's puns, their effects, their detractors, and the cultural politics of punning in the nineteenth century. The book examines the politics of Hood's play in relation to nineteenth-century debate about labour and leisure. Hood's work in relationship to the so-called 'minor' or 'illegitimate' theatre of the 1820s and 1830s is analyzed. Hood's work plays out the possibilities of an emergent cultural democracy: his poetry is practically and ideologically allied with the forms, subjects, and modes of illegitimate theatre. Hood's upbringing in a changing print culture makes him unsually alert to and appreciative of the play of language, the serendipitous intertextuality of the street where signs are in constant dialogue with one another.

Europe by numbers
Author: Nico Randeraad

This book is a history of an illusion. It is also a history of the dream that preceded the illusion. The book discusses statistics as the field of tension between the scientific claims of neutrality and universality on the one hand and the political and economic reality of the conflicting interests of nation-states on the other. The various paths of state- and nation-building that European countries traversed in the nineteenth century are recognisable in the objectives of government statistics and are reflected in the topics selected for statistical study and in the categories used in the research. Each congress was clearly dominated by the specific interests of the country in which the statisticians convened. The book shows in each case how the organisation of government statistics and national concerns influenced the international agenda. It describes the perceptions, goals and dilemmas of the protagonists and their contact with each other, and in so doing unravels the complex relationships between science, government and society, wherever possible from their point of view. The genesis of international statistics was inspired by a desire for reform. Belgium's pioneering role in the European statistical movement was informed both by its liberal polity and the special status of statistics within it, and by Adolphe Quetelet's key position as an intellectual. The consolidation of the Grand Duchy of Baden, a new medium-sized state in the Rhine Confederation and later in the German Confederation, offered great opportunities for the development of official statistics.

Editor: Gareth Atkins

This collection of essays examines the place of ‘saints’ and sanctity in nineteenth-century Britain. It argues that holy men and women were pivotal in religious discourse, as subjects of veneration and inter-confessional contention. Protestants were as fascinated by such figures as Catholics were. Long after the mechanisms of canonization had disappeared, they continued not only to engage with the saints of the past but continued to make their own saints in all but name. Just as strikingly, it claims that devotional practices and language were not the property of orthodox Christians alone. Even in an age of confessional strife, doubt and secularisation, devotional practices and language remained central to how both Christians and their opponents reflected on that changing world. Making and remaking saints is significant, then, because until now no-one has explored how sainthood remained significant in this period both as an enduring institution and as a fruitful metaphor that could be transposed into unexpected contexts. Each of the chapters in this volume focuses on the reception of a particular individual or group. Together they will attract not just historians of religion, but those concerned with material culture, the cult of history, and with the reshaping of British identities in an age of faith and doubt

Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), Madeleine (1950) and Hobson’s Choice (1954)
Melanie Williams

Nineteenth-century blues: Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), Madeleine (1950) and Hobson’s Choice (1954) 3 It has become customary to look at David Lean’s two consecutive Dickens adaptations together, often in semi-isolation from his other work around this time. Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948) offer a clearly demarcated sub-section of the director’s career – his Dickens period – and moreover one with considerable prestige. Both films are regarded as exemplary film versions of classic novels and have been frequently used as

in David Lean

The poor laws were a fundamental component of nineteenth-century government throughout the United Kingdom. Ratepayer, pauper, poor law guardian or functionary, almost everyone had an interest in the poor law system. This book presents a study of the nature and operation of the Irish poor law system in the post-famine period. It traces the expansion of the system to encompass a wide range of welfare services, and explains the ideological and political context in which the expansion took place. After a general survey of the poor law system in the nineteenth century, the book analyses the poor law system in Ireland and the role of central government in overseeing the system's operation. It explores the impact of board nationalisation both on poor law administration and on the relationship between central and local administrators. Nationalist guardians were quick to realise that their powers under the Evicted Poor Protection Act could be used to support participants in the land campaign. The government's approach to distress in 1879-1880 was intended to avoid the mistakes made during the Great Famine. A more nuanced analysis of the labourers acts is provided here encompassing their origin, reception and operation. The poor law system catered predominantly for women, but was administered and staffed predominantly by men. The strength of Irish nationalism lay in its ability to construct a cohesive political community that cut across gender and class boundaries. By redefining criteria for relief, nationalist guardians helped to introduce a greater degree of flexibility into the relief system.

John Schad

Surrealism...‘wave of dreams’...new art of flânerie. New nineteenth-century past – Paris its classic locale. Here [is] fashion...[And here] the clerk, death, tall and loutish, measures the century by the yard, serves as mannequin himself to save costs, and directs personally the ‘liquidation’ that in French is called ‘revolution.’...We look on...empty offices... Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project 1 The nineteenth century. I have been assigned the

in Interventions
John M. MacKenzie

In Britain the nineteenth-century hunting cult had an extraordinary range of cultural manifestations. As the shooting elite converted arable land and hill pasture into a new form of planned wilderness they not only changed the landscape, they also created fresh topographical

in The Empire of Nature
Joanne Parker

2 Medievalism, Anglo-Saxonism and the nineteenth century Before it is possible to understand the particular appeal of Alfred to nineteenth-century Britain, it is necessary to have some idea of the broader cultural contexts in which the cult of the Saxon king germinated. As part of the Alfred Millenary commemorations in 1901, the historian Frederic Harrison – as was discussed in Chapter One – gave a speech at the British Museum. During this he asserted, ‘if ours was the age of progress, it was also the age of history’.1 The Victorian mania for Alfred was

in ‘England’s darling’