The Little Everyman: Stature and Masculinity in Eighteenth-Century English Literature

The Little Everyman: Stature and Masculinity in Eighteenth-Century English Literature

by Deborah Needleman Armintor
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0295990872

ISBN-13: 9780295990873

Pub. Date: 09/09/2011

Publisher: University of Washington Press

Eighteenth-century English literature, art, science, and popular culture exhibited an unprecedented fascination with small male bodies of various kinds. Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb plays drew packed crowds, while public exhibitions advertised male dwarfs as paragons of English masculinity. Bawdy popular poems featured diminutive men paired with enormous women, and

Overview

Eighteenth-century English literature, art, science, and popular culture exhibited an unprecedented fascination with small male bodies of various kinds. Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb plays drew packed crowds, while public exhibitions advertised male dwarfs as paragons of English masculinity. Bawdy popular poems featured diminutive men paired with enormous women, and amateur scientists anthropomorphized and gendered the "minute bodies" they observed under their fashionable new pocket microscopes. Little men, both real and imagined, embodied the anxieties of a newly bourgeois English culture and were transformed to suit changing concerns about the status of English masculinity in the modern era.

The Little Everyman explores this strange trend by tracing the historical trajectory of the supplanting of the premodern court dwarf by a more metaphorical and quintessentially modern "little man" who came to represent in miniature the historical shift in literary production from aristocratic patronage to the bourgeois fantasy of freelance authorship. Armintor's close readings of Pope, Fielding, Swift, and Sterne highlight little recognized aspects of classic works while demonstrating how the little man became an "everyman."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780295990873
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
09/09/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgements

1. A Visual Prehistory2. The Dwarfing of Little-Man Pope3. The Little Man-Microscope in Brobdingnag4. The Labor of Little Men5. The Little Man of Feeling6. Josef Boruwlaski's Memoirs of the Celebrated Dwarf

NotesBibliographyIndex

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