Description : How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to fish 'n' chips wrap? Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Trollope, and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, Leah Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. From knickknacks to wastepaper, books mattered to the Victorians in ways that cannot be explained by their printed content alone. And whether displayed, defaced, exchanged, or discarded, printed matter participated, and still participates, in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading. Supplementing close readings with a sensitive reconstruction of how Victorians thought and felt about books, Price offers a new model for integrating literary theory with cultural history. How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain reshapes our understanding of the interplay between words and objects in the nineteenth century and beyond.
Description : Designed to support the QCA Scheme of Work for history at Key Stage 2, the books in this series address various aspects of history with questions and answers that are illustrated with written and pictorial primary sources. This text focuses on Victorian Britain.
Description : The Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature offers 45 chapters by leading international scholars working with the most dynamic and influential political, cultural, and theoretical issues addressing Victorian literature today. Scholars and students will find this collection both useful and inspiring. Rigorously engaged with current scholarship that is both historically sensitive and theoretically informed, the Routledge Companion places the genres of the novel, poetry, and drama and issues of gender, social class, and race in conversation with subjects like ecology, colonialism, the Gothic, digital humanities, sexualities, disability, material culture, and animal studies. This guide is aimed at scholars who want to know the most significant critical approaches in Victorian studies, often written by the very scholars who helped found those fields. It addresses major theoretical movements such as narrative theory, formalism, historicism, and economic theory, as well as Victorian models of subjects such as anthropology, cognitive science, and religion. With its lists of key works, rich cross-referencing, extensive bibliographies, and explications of scholarly trajectories, the book is a crucial resource for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, while offering invaluable support to more seasoned scholars.
Description : Focusing on everyday life in nineteenth-century Britain and its imperial possessions”from preparing tea to cleaning the kitchen, from packing for imperial adventures to arranging home décor”the essays in this collection share a common focus on materiality, the nitty-gritty elements that helped give shape and meaning to British self-definition during the period. Each essay demonstrates how preoccupations with common household goods and habits fueled contemporary debates about cultural institutions ranging from personal matters of marriage and family to more overtly political issues of empire building. While existing scholarship on material culture in the nineteenth century has centered on artifacts in museums and galleries, this collection brings together disparate fields”history of design, landscape history, childhood studies, and feminist and postcolonial literary studies”to focus on ordinary objects and practices, with specific attention to how Britons of all classes established the tenets of domesticity as central to individual happiness, national security, and imperial hegemony.
Description : This collection of essays explores the questions of what counted as knowledge in Victorian Britain, who defined knowledge and the knowledgeable, by what means and by what criteria. During the Victorian period, the structure of knowledge took on a new and recognizably modern form, and the disciplines we now take for granted took shape. The ways in which knowledge was tested also took on a new form, with the rise of written examinations. New institutions of knowledge were created: museums were important at the start of the period, universities had become prominent by the end. Victorians needed to make sense of the sheer scale of new information, to popularize it, and at the same time to exclude ignorance and error - a role carried out by encyclopaedias and popular publications. By studying the Victorian organization of knowledge in its institutional, social, and intellectual settings, these essays contribute to our wider consideration of the complex and much debated concept of knowledge.
Description : What did reading mean to the Victorians? This question is the key point of departure for Reading and the Victorians, an examination of the era when reading underwent a swifter and more radical transformation than at any other moment in history. With book production handed over to the machines and mass education boosting literacy to unprecedented levels, the norms of modern reading were being established. Essays examine the impact of tallow candles on Victorian reading, the reading practices encouraged by Mudie's Select Library and feminist periodicals, the relationship between author and reader as reflected in manuscript revisions and corrections, the experience of reading women's diaries, models of literacy in Our Mutual Friend, the implications of reading marks in Victorian texts, how computer technology has assisted the study of nineteenth-century reading practices, how Gladstone read his personal library, and what contemporary non-academic readers might owe to Victorian ideals of reading and community. Reading forms a genuine meeting place for historians, literary scholars, theorists, librarians, and historians of the book, and this diverse collection examines nineteenth-century reading in all its personal, historical, literary, and material contexts, while also asking fundamental questions about how we read the Victorians' reading in the present day.
Description : First published in 1988, this encyclopedia serves as an overview and point of entry to the complex interdisciplinary field of Victorian studies. The signed articles, which cover persons, events, institutions, topics, groups and artefacts in Great Britain between 1837 and 1901, have been written by authorities in the field and contain bibliographies to provide guidelines for further research. The work is intended for undergraduates and the general reader, and also as a starting point for graduates who wish to explore new fields.
Description : An introduction to Victorian sexualities and a survey of current critical methods, these essays emphasize the remarkable variety of Victorian sexuality and the intricate particularity of sexual identities that shaped the way the Victorians thought about themselves. This absorbing collection will energize reflection on the complexity of human sexuality and on the many different arrays of meaning that it has generated.