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Disease, desire, and the body in Victorian women's popular novels / Pamela K. Gilbert.

Gilbert, Pamela K. (Author).
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Electronic resources

Subject: English fiction > 19th century > History and criticism.
Women > Books and reading > Great Britain > History > 19th century.
Diseases and literature > Great Britain > History > 19th century.
Literature and society > Great Britain > History > 19th century.
Women and literature > Great Britain > History > 19th century.
Popular literature > Great Britain > History and criticism.
English fiction > Women authors > History and criticism.
Medical fiction > History and criticism.
Sensationalism in literature.
Human body in literature.
Diseases in literature.
Desire in literature.
Genre: Electronic books.

Record details

  • ISBN: 0511005202
  • ISBN: 9780511005206
  • Physical Description: 1 online resource (viii, 207 pages).
  • Publisher: Cambridge, U.K ; Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 198-205) and index.
Formatted Contents Note: Introduction -- "In the body of the text" : metaphors of reading and the body -- Genre : the social construction of sensation -- M.E. Braddon : sensational realism -- Rhoda Broughton : anything but love -- Ouida : romantic exchange -- Afterword : the other Victorians.
Summary: Popular fiction in mid-Victorian Britain was regarded as both feminine and diseased. Critical articles of the time on fiction and on the body and disease offer convincing evidence that reading was metaphorically allied with eating, contagion and sex. Anxious critics traced the infection of the imperial, healthy body of masculine elite culture by 'diseased' popular fiction, especially novels by women. This book discusses works by three novelists - M.E. Braddon, Rhoda Broughton, and 'Ouida' - within this historical context. In each case, the comparison of an early, 'sensation' novel against a later work shows how generic categorization worked in the context of social concerns to contain anxiety and limit interpretive possibilities. Within the texts themselves, references to contemporary critical and medical literatures resist or exploit mid-Victorian concepts of health, nationality, class and the body.
Source of Description Note: Print version record.
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