Charlotte Bronti'A: The Imagination in History

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Overview

This stimulating study of Charlotte Bronte's novels draws on extensive original research in a range of early Victorian writings, on subjects from women's day-dreaming to sanitary reform, from the Great Exhibition to early Victorian religious thought. It is not, however, merely a study of context. Through a close consideration of the ways in which Bronte's novels engage with the thinking of their time, it offers a powerful argument for the 'literary' as a distinctive mode of intelligence, and reveals a Charlotte Bronte more alert to her historical moment and far more aesthetically sophisticated than she has usually been taken to be. The study will be of interest not only to students of Victorian literature and society, but also to those literary critics and theorists who are beginning to reconsider the nature of the aesthetic and its relation to ideology.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This groundbreaking study meticulously documents that Bronte's juvenilia and fiction reflect both her sophisticated literary intelligence and early Victorian cultural phenomena more pervasively than hitherto recognized."--Choice

"Sure to be influential in Brontë studies, it is shrewdly comparative, casting each novel against the rest to illuminate the edges of each; it is well-researched and often movingly written."--Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198187615
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/23/2003
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction
1 The Mighty Phantasm 5
2 'Calculated abruptness': The Professor 33
3 Triumph and Jeopardy: The Shape of Jane Eyre 50
4 'Dreadful to me': Jane Eyre and History (1) 65
5 'Incident, life, fire, feeling': Jane Eyre and History (2) 96
6 The Terrible Handwriting: Shirley 144
7 'Entirely bewildered': Villette and History (1) 197
8 The Prism of Pain: Villette and History (2) 251
Epilogue 285
Bibliography 289
Index 309
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