Charity and Condescension: Victorian Literature and the Dilemmas of Philanthropy

Overview

Charity and Condescension explores how condescension, a traditional English virtue, went sour in the nineteenth century, and considers the ways in which the failure of condescension influenced Victorian efforts to reform philanthropy and to construct new narrative models of social conciliation. In the literary work of authors like Dickens, Eliot, and Tennyson, and in the writing of reformers like Octavia Hill and Samuel Barnett, condescension-once a sign of the power and value ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $24.99   
  • New (7) from $32.47   
  • Used (3) from $24.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Charity and Condescension explores how condescension, a traditional English virtue, went sour in the nineteenth century, and considers the ways in which the failure of condescension influenced Victorian efforts to reform philanthropy and to construct new narrative models of social conciliation. In the literary work of authors like Dickens, Eliot, and Tennyson, and in the writing of reformers like Octavia Hill and Samuel Barnett, condescension-once a sign of the power and value of charity-became an emblem of charity's limitations.

Charity and Condescension argues that, despite its reputation for idealistic self-assurance, Victorian charity frequently doubted its own operations and was driven by creative self-critique. Through sophisticated and original close readings of important Victorian texts, Siegel shows how these important ideas developed even as England struggled to deal with its growing underclass and an expanding notion of the state's responsibility to its poor.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Charity and Condescension gives literary critics that which we always hope for in a new book: an entirely new way of seeing texts that we all know and teach.”
— Suzanne Daly, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Redeeming the Mrs. Jellybys of Victorian Fiction as agents of liberation may be a tall order; but Siegel certainly succeeds wonderfully here in demanding, and offering, reconsideration of our own too-simple condescension toward Victorian condescension.”
— Jeanette Samyn, Indiana University, Bloomington

“Redeeming the Mrs. Jellybys of Victorian Fiction as agents of liberation may be a tall order; but Siegel certainly succeeds wonderfully here in demanding, and offering, reconsideration of our own too-simple condescension toward Victorian condescension.”
— Victorian Studies

“Smart and original readings.”
— Victoriographies

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821419915
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Siegel is an associate professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of several articles about Victorian literature and culture.

Daniel Siegel is an associate professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of several articles about Victorian literature and culture.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Charity and Condescension 1

Chapter 1 Help Wanting: The Exhaustion of a Dickensian Ideal 37

Chapter 2 Preacher's Vigil, Landlord's Watch: Charity by the Clock in Adam Bede 75

Chapter 3 Why Settle?: Samuel Barnett, Octavia Hill, the London Slums 101

Chapter 4 Tennyson's Salvation Army 129

Epilogue 163

Notes 169

Bibliography 195

Index 205

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)