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Bearing the Dead: The British Culture of Mourning from the Enlightenment to Victoria [NOOK Book]

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 ...

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

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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.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400821488
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/14/1994
  • Series: Literature in History
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 485 KB

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction3Pt. IA Century of Tears1Elegia and the Enlightenment192Written Wailings483Burke, Paine, Wordsworth, and the Politics of Sympathy73Pt. IIAuthentic Epitaphs4"The Impotence of Grief": Wordsworth's Genealogies of Morals1175"This Pregnant Spot of Ground": Bearing the Dead in The Excursion1516A Nation's Sorrows, a People's Tears: The Politics of Mourning Princess Charlotte196Epilogue230Notes241Index281
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