VICTORIAN SENSATION

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Victorian Sensation

Author : James A. Secord
ISBN : 9780226158259
Genre : Science
File Size : 82.4 MB
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Fiction or philosophy, profound knowledge or shocking heresy? When Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation was published anonymously in 1844, it sparked one of the greatest sensations of the Victorian era. More than a hundred thousand readers were spellbound by its startling vision—an account of the world that extended from the formation of the solar system to the spiritual destiny of humanity. As gripping as a popular novel, Vestiges combined all the current scientific theories in fields ranging from astronomy and geology to psychology and economics. The book was banned, it was damned, it was hailed as the gospel for a new age. This is where our own public controversies about evolution began. In a pioneering cultural history, James A. Secord uses the story of Vestiges to create a panoramic portrait of life in the early industrial era from the perspective of its readers. We join apprentices in a factory town as they debate the consequences of an evolutionary ancestry. We listen as Prince Albert reads aloud to Queen Victoria from a book that preachers denounced as blasphemy vomited from the mouth of Satan. And we watch as Charles Darwin turns its pages in the flea-ridden British Museum library, fearful for the fate of his own unpublished theory of evolution. Using secret letters, Secord reveals how Vestiges was written and how the anonymity of its author was maintained for forty years. He also takes us behind the scenes to a bustling world of publishers, printers, and booksellers to show how the furor over the book reflected the emerging industrial economy of print. Beautifully written and based on painstaking research, Victorian Sensation offers a new approach to literary history, the history of reading, and the history of science. Profusely illustrated and full of fascinating stories, it is the most comprehensive account of the making and reception of a book (other than the Bible) ever attempted. Winner of the 2002 Pfizer Award from the History of Science Society
Category: Science

Victorian Sensation

Author : Michael Diamond
ISBN : 0857287389
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21.13 MB
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'Victorian Sensation' sheds light on the Victorians' fascination with celebrity culture and their obsession with gruesome and explicit reportage of murders and sex scandals. With a vivid cast of characters, ranging from the serial poisoner William Palmer, to Charles Dickens, Jumbo the Elephant, distinguished politicians and even the Queen herself, this passionate analysis of the period reveals how the reporting methods of our own popular media have their origins in the Victorian press, and shows that sensation was as integral a part of society in the nineteenth century as it is today.
Category: Social Science

Victorian Sensations

Author : Kimberly Harrison
ISBN : 9780814210314
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 59.57 MB
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"Wildly popular with Victorian readers, sensation fiction was condemned by most critics for scandalous content and formal features that deviated from respectable Victorian realism. Victorian Sensations is the first collection to examine sensation fiction as a whole, showing it to push genre boundaries and resist easy classification. Comprehensive in scope, this collection includes twenty original essays employing various critical approaches to cover a range of topics that will interest many readers." "Essays are organized thematically into three sections: issues of genre; sensational representations of gender and sexuality; and the texts' complex readings of diverse social and cultural phenomena such as class, race, and empire. The introduction reviews the critical reception of sensation fiction to situate these new essays within a larger scholarly context."--BOOK JACKET.
Category: Literary Collections

From Wollstonecraft To Stoker

Author : Marilyn Brock
ISBN : 9780786454402
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 26.40 MB
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This collection of 13 essays examines the work of Victorian authors Wilkie Collins, M.E. Braddon, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Mary Wollstonecraft, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James and Charlotte Brontë. Each essay explores their use of archetypal Gothic elements, such as dark secrets and forbidden sensations, to depict nineteenth-century attitudes to class, gender, race, colonialism and imperialism.
Category: Literary Criticism

Jumbo

Author : John Sutherland
ISBN : 9781781312469
Genre : History
File Size : 81.18 MB
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The first comprehensive 'biography' of one of the first celebrity animals who gave us one of our favourite words. Jumbo, Victorian England's favourite elephant, was born in 1861 in French Sudan, imported to a Parisian zoo and later sold on to London, where – for seventeen years – he dutifully gave children rides and ate buns from their hands, all the while being tortured at night to keep him docile. Worldwide fame came when he was bought by the American showman and scam artist P.T. Barnum in 1881, despite letters from 100,000 British schoolchildren who wrote to Queen Victoria begging her to prevent the sale. Barnum went on to transform Jumbo into a lucrative circus act and one of the most loved animals of all time, establishing elephants as a regular feature of funhouses and menageries the world over. Using the heartwrenching story of Jumbo's celebrity life, tragic death in Canada in 1885, and his enduring cultural legacy, Jumbo is personal and fascinating reflection on our cultural elephantiasis by one of our most distinguished literary-critical detectives, which is guaranteed to amuse, stimulate, provoke and delight in equal measure.
Category: History

Rediscovering Victorian Women Sensation Writers

Author : Anne-Marie Beller
ISBN : 9781317754015
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 38.24 MB
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Scholarly understanding of the Victorian literary field has changed dramatically in the past thirty years, due in large part to the extensive recovery of sensation fiction and a corresponding recognition of that genre’s importance in the literary debates, trends, and wider cultural practices of the period. Yet until very recently, work on sensationalism has focused on a narrow range of authors and works, with Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Ellen Wood retaining the preponderance of critical attention. This collection examines the fiction of ten women sensation writers who were immensely popular in the Victorian period but remain critically neglected today – writers such as Annie Edwardes, M.C. Houstoun, Annie French, Dora Russell and others. The Victorian sensation novel was categorically associated with women by Victorian reviewers and this collection extends our current understanding of this sub-genre by showing that female sensation writers were often sophisticated in their textual strategies, employing a range of metafictional techniques and narrative innovations. By moving beyond the novelists who have come to represent the genre, this book presents a fuller, more nuanced, understanding of the spectrum of writing that constructed the concept of ‘sensationalism’ for Victorian readers and critics. The book was originally published as a special issue of Women’s Writing.
Category: Literary Criticism

A Companion To The Victorian Novel

Author : William Baker
ISBN : 0313314071
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 28.47 MB
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This reference is an introductory guide to the Victorian novel and its contexts. It examines the emergence of the Victorian novel and its literary precursors, with particular emphasis on serialization and syndication; it looks at significant social and cultural contexts surrounding the novel; it discusses various genres, such as ghost stories, the Gothic, and detective fiction; it introduces some of the period's most important novelists; and it surveys different critical approaches and their application to the study of 19th-century fiction.
Category: Fiction