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Medicine and the world of letters
Michael Brown

2 Polite and ornamental knowledge: medicine and the world of letters The Doctor, being possessed of an active and liberal mind, considered himself as not only engaged to benefit those with whom he lived, but also to do something for posterity. ‘A Memoir of the Life of Alexander Hunter, M.D.’ (1812)1 I n 1794 th e York p h y s i ci an, Thomas Withers, published A Treatise on the Errors and Defects of Medical Education. His work was heavily indebted to John Gregory’s lectures on the duties of a physician, which he had attended as a student in Edinburgh.2 Like

in Performing medicine
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Material Gothic
Stephen Shapiro

As Gothic works knock the stuffing out their subject and splatter the remains over the page and screen, their obsessive focus on an economy of decomposing bodies in distress makes a compelling case for the attraction they exert on materialist criticism. A broad and heterogeneous spectrum of left social and cultural critique has always relied on Gothic referents to make descriptive sense of the teratology of life within societies dominated by the bourgeoisie. Marx‘s Capital begins, after all, by seeing the ‘monstrous ungeheure accumulation of commodities’ as the symptom of something gone terribly wrong in liberal political economy.1 What, though, if the Gothic codex is more than simply ornamental language or images added to the otherwise dry bones of philosophical, political, and economic writings and is itself a mode of critical inquiry into capitalist modernity that may also interrogate classical Marxisms precepts and underexplored aspects? If Marxism has depended on Gothic referents to make its point, can Gothic return the favor by thinking through obstacles and potentialities within familiar Marxist claims? In this light, we mean ‘material Gothic’ as something greater than simply a less provocative name for Marxist-inflected readings of Gothic works, and understand it as a project in which Gothic studies can inform and reshape cultural and historical materialism.

Gothic Studies

Royal Tourists, Colonial Subjects, and the Making of a British World, 1860-1911 examines the ritual space of nineteenth-century royal tours of empire and the diverse array of historical actors who participated in them. The book is a tale of royals who were ambivalent and bored partners in the project of empire; colonial administrators who used royal ceremonies to pursue a multiplicity of projects and interests or to imagine themselves as African chiefs or heirs to the Mughal emperors; local princes and chiefs who were bullied and bruised by the politics of the royal tour, even as some of them used the tour to symbolically appropriate or resist British cultural power; and settlers of European descent and people of colour in the empire who made claims on the rights and responsibilities of imperial citizenship and as co-owners of Britain’s global empire. Royal Tourists, Colonial Subjects, and the Making of a British World suggests that the diverse responses to the royal tours of the nineteenth century demonstrate how a multi-centred British-imperial culture was forged in the empire and was constantly made and remade, appropriated and contested. In this context, subjects of empire provincialized the British Isles, centring the colonies in their political and cultural constructions of empire, Britishness, citizenship, and loyalty.

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Sam George

Valentine cards and love letters. 13 A bifurcation of botany had occurred whereby women’s botany had become increasingly ‘feminine’ and ornamental and its serious scientific component had become more exclusively ‘masculine’ work. 14 When Elizabeth Kent’s brother-in-law, Leigh Hunt, reviewed Flora Domestica in the Examiner in 1824, he described it as ‘tying up its lady like bunches with

in Botany, sexuality and women’s writing 1760–1830
Philip M. Taylor

Louis XIV effectively disarmed all opposition. War was to challenge the effectiveness of this propaganda. Louis regarded war in much the same way as his ornamental court, not merely as a luxury but as a means by which his glory could be displayed and extended. However, the disastrous effects of war upon his subjects, especially in the second half of his reign with the War of the League of Augsburg (1688-97) and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), required a sustained campaign to boost sagging morale, civic as well as military. This was all the more essential

in Munitions of the Mind
‘French’ style in Saint-Louis and on Gorée Island
Benjamin Steiner

-Louis. Its construction was conducted during the tenure of Louis Moreau de Chambonneau as director of the settlement. He sketched the fort on several plans from two perspectives and made his depiction of the plain structure look as imposing as possible (see Figures 24 and 25 ). The familiar colonial habit of placing the representational emblems above the entrance gate is perhaps the most ornamental feature of this edifice. But the King's coat of arms is not in the centre, but to the left, while a figure of the Madonna with Child occupies the most

in Building the French empire, 1600–1800
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Style, taste and the business of decoration
Conor Lucey

are also recognized as pivotal agents of its wider cultural and material reach. But as with the design of the terraced house, art-​historical appraisal of the artisan’s comprehension of Robert Adam’s pioneering decorative style has often been misunderstood. Alistair Rowan remarked that lesser architects and artisans adopting his ornamental lexicon typically ‘lacked 123 Decorating houses an understanding of its syntax’,2 and for Geoffrey Beard, craftsmen ‘faced with the complex intricacies of neo-​Classicism … might well have been found lacking without careful

in Building reputations
Class and consumption at mid century
Jo Briggs

; perhaps thinking of the gent the author states that although embroidered waistcoats had been ‘generally discarded by persons of good taste’, in these examples ‘we see much that is truly graceful’.44 The most direct attack on the gent’s taste in the name of design reform came after the Great Exhibition closed, with the establishment of the Museum of Ornamental Art in May 1852. This was a continuation of the mission of Henry 148 Novelty fair Cole and his cohorts, Richard Redgrave and Ralph Nicholson Wornum. Any observer familiar with the gent as defined by Smith

in Novelty fair
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Silvia Granata

. This chapter looks at the complex aesthetic appeal that the aquarium exerted on Victorians, arguing that it had surprisingly far-ranging implications, which entailed assumptions about class, virtue, and knowledge. I thus explore the strategies adopted to describe, define, and teach readers how to appreciate the particular kind of visual pleasures offered by the tank. I begin by looking at the ornamental functions it was meant to perform, examining the value attributed to the aquarium as a mirror of its owner and situating the tank within a cluster of social, moral

in The Victorian aquarium
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Martial manliness and material culture
Joanne Begiato

are the artefacts of war and the military, including uniforms, weapons, medals, ships, and regimental colours. The second are objects encountered at the domestic level, including toys, ceramics, and textiles, which depicted martial manliness or had intimate connections with soldiers and sailors. They appealed to all age groups, genders, and social classes, since many were priced for a modest pocket and had a domestic function or ornamental appeal. The third type considered consists of the material culture that celebrity military heroes generated, from consumable

in Manliness in Britain, 1760–1900