Bearing the Dead: The British Culture of Mourning from the Enlightenment to Victoria

Bearing the Dead: The British Culture of Mourning from the Enlightenment to Victoria

by Esther Schor
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Esther Schor tells us about the persistence of the dead, about why they still matter long after we emerge from grief and accept our loss. Mourning as a cultural phenomenon has become opaque to us in the twentieth century, Schor argues. This book is an effort to recover the culture of mourning that thrived in English society from the Enlightenment through the

Overview

Esther Schor tells us about the persistence of the dead, about why they still matter long after we emerge from grief and accept our loss. Mourning as a cultural phenomenon has become opaque to us in the twentieth century, Schor argues. This book is an effort to recover the culture of mourning that thrived in English society from the Enlightenment through the Romantic Age, and to recapture its meaning. Mourning appears here as the social diffusion of grief through sympathy, as a force that constitutes communities and helps us to conceptualize history.

In the textual and social practices of the British Enlightenment and its early nineteenth-century heirs, Schor uncovers the ways in which mourning mediated between received ideas of virtue, both classical and Christian, and a burgeoning, property-based commercial society. The circulation of sympathies maps the means by which both valued things and values themselves are distributed within a culture. Delving into philosophy, politics, economics, and social history as well as literary texts, Schor traces a shift in the British discourse of mourning in the wake of the French Revolution: What begins as a way to effect a moral consensus in society turns into a means of conceiving and bringing forth history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Bearing the Dead ranges freely between texts often considered to belong to separate discourses. . . . Today we are on bad terms with our dead. The texts Schor addresses, as well as her discussion of them, resonate with possible lines of thought that need to be explored."--Rosemary Hill, The Guardian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400821488
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/14/1994
Series:
Literature in History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
496 KB

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >