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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.

Work, play and politics

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.

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

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.

The visual culture of a new profession

This book analyzes the early stages of the interior design profession as articulated within the circles involved in the decoration of the private home in the second half of nineteenth-century France. It argues that the increased presence of the modern, domestic interior in the visual culture of the nineteenth century enabled the profession to take shape. Upholsterers, cabinet-makers, architects, stage designers, department stores, taste advisors, collectors, and illustrators, came together to “sell” the idea of the unified interior as an image and a total work of art. The ideal domestic interior took several media as its outlet, including taste manuals, pattern books, illustrated magazines, art and architectural exhibitions, and department store catalogs.

The chapters outline the terms of reception within which the work of each professional group involved in the appearance and design of the nineteenth-century French domestic interior emerged and focus on specific works by members of each group. If Chapter 1 concentrates on collectors and taste advisors, outlining the new definitions of the modern interior they developed, Chapter 2 focuses on the response of upholsterers, architects, and cabinet-makers to the same new conceptions of the ideal private interior. Chapter 3 considers the contribution of the world of entertainment to the field of interior design while Chapter 4 moves into the world of commerce to study how department stores popularized the modern interior with the middle classes. Chapter 5 returns to architects to understand how their engagement with popular journals shaped new interior decorating styles.

Setting the precedent

This book is an attempt at a comprehensive presentation of the history of humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century, the heyday of this controversial doctrine. It starts with a brief presentation of the present situation and debate. The theoretical first part of the book starts with the genealogy of the idea, namely the quest for the progenitors of the idea in the sixteenth and seventeenth century which is a matter of controversy. Next the nineteenth century ‘civilization-barbarity’ dichotomy is covered and its bearing on humanitarian intervention, with its concomitant Eurocentric/Orientalist gaze towards the Ottomans and other states, concluding with the reaction of the Ottomans (as well as the Chinese and Japanese). Then the pivotal international law dimension is scrutinized, with the arguments of advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention from the 1830s until the 1930s. The theoretical part of the book concludes with nineteenth century international political theory and intervention (Kant, Hegel, Cobden, Mazzini and especially J.S. Mill). In the practical second part of the book four cases studies of humanitarian intervention are examined in considerable detail: the Greek case (1821-1831), the Lebanon/Syria case (1860-61), the Balkan crisis and Bulgarian case (1875-78) in two chapters, and the U.S. intervention in Cuba (1895-98). Each cases study concludes with its bearing on the evolution of international norms and rules of conduct in instances of humanitarian plights. The concluding chapter identifies the main characteristics of intervention on humanitarian grounds during this period and today’s criticism and counter-criticism.

When physicians gathered in medical societies to present, share, discuss, evaluate, publish and even celebrate their medical studies, they engaged in a community with specific practices, rules and manners. This book explores the formal and subtle ways in which such norms were set. It analyzes societies’ scientific publishing procedures, traditions of debate, (inter)national networks, and social and commemorative activities, uncovering a rich scientific culture in nineteenth-century medicine. The book focuses on medical societies in Belgium, a young nation-state eager to take its place among the European nations, in which the constitutional freedoms of press and association offered new possibilities for organized sociability. It situates medical societies within an emerging civil culture in Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp, and shows how physicians’ ambitions to publish medical journals and organize scientific debates corresponded well to the values of social engagement, polite debate and a free press of the urban bourgeoisie. As such, this book offers new insights into the close relation between science, sociability and citizenship. The development of a professional academic community in the second half of the century, which centered around the laboratory, went hand in hand with a set of new scientific codes, mirroring to a lesser extent the customs of civil society. It meant the end of a tradition of ‘civil’ science, forcing medical societies to reposition themselves in the scientific landscape, and take up new functions as mediators between specialties and as centers of postgraduate education.

The Reverend William Richardson

‘I love controversy’ claimed the Reverend William Richardson (1740-1820). Though a rural Irish rector, Richardson was a clerical polymath with wide-ranging interests in botany and geology who had international connections at the highest level. This book explores all the dimensions of Richardson’s extraordinary scientific career and assesses his interventions in Irish loyalist politics at the time of the 1798 rebellion. He was a prolific writer who contributed to the debate on the origin of basalt at the Giant’s Causeway, refuting claims that it was volcanic. His main project, however, was agricultural improvement. He argued that the adoption of, Irish fiorin grass, a plant which flourished on bog-land, would help reclaim wastelands throughout Britain and enable farmers to make hay in wintertime. Though considered mad for attempting to overturn the conventional wisdom of ‘making hay while the sun shines’ Richardson was supported by leading British scientists like Sir Humphry Davy and Sir Joseph Banks. In truth he sits at the intersection between provincial and metropolitan science and his overall historical importance, like his career, is diverse. His scientific empiricism meant that he offered an alternative voice to that of the loyalist propagandist, Sir Richard Musgrave. Even more significantly, in the aftermath of legislative union, Richardson recommended Irish agriculture to remedy Britain’s economic predicament during the ‘war of resources’ phase of the Napoleonic wars.

1 The poor law system in nineteenth-century Ireland In the preface to his history of the Irish poor law, the architect of the system, Sir George Nicholls, reminded his readers that the Irish poor law was ‘in its origin no more than a branch of the English law’, and that while the Irish system had over time developed its own distinctive character, it remained the case that the ‘the English and the Irish poor laws are similar in principle and identical in their objects. The aim sought to be obtained by each is, to relieve the community from the demoralisation as

in Politics, pauperism and power in late nineteenth-century Ireland
Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), Madeleine (1950) and Hobson’s Choice (1954)

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