The Marked Body: Domestic Violence in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Literature [NOOK Book]

Overview

The ambiguities and paradoxes of domestic violence were amplified in Victorian culture, which emphasized the home as a woman's place of security. In The Marked Body, Kate Lawson and Lynn Shakinovsky examine the discarded and violated bodies of middle-class women in selected texts of mid-nineteenth-century fiction and poetry. Guided by observations from feminism, psychoanalysis, and trauma theory, they argue that, in these works, domestic violence is a crucible in which the female body is placed, where it becomes ...
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The Marked Body: Domestic Violence in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Literature

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Overview

The ambiguities and paradoxes of domestic violence were amplified in Victorian culture, which emphasized the home as a woman's place of security. In The Marked Body, Kate Lawson and Lynn Shakinovsky examine the discarded and violated bodies of middle-class women in selected texts of mid-nineteenth-century fiction and poetry. Guided by observations from feminism, psychoanalysis, and trauma theory, they argue that, in these works, domestic violence is a crucible in which the female body is placed, where it becomes marked by scars and disfigurement. Yet, they contend, these wounds go beyond violence to bring these women to a broader state of female subjectivity, sexuality, and consciousness. The female body, already the site of alterity, is inscribed with something that cannot be expressed; it thus becomes that which is culturally and physically denied, the place which is not.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Extremely well researched and well written, this book melds an intelligent reading of imagery and story with a nuanced theoretical framework, a good sense of historical context and social history, and a genuine concern for domestic violence against women in the nineteenth century. I find this book very illuminating.— Joseph Adamson, coeditor of Scenes of Shame: Psychoanalysis, Shame, and Writing

"This reading of domestic violence, which is 'behind the scenes' in several senses, is intellectually important, and speaks to a wide variety of issues in Victorian studies, feminism, legal studies, and psychoanalysis."— Randall Craig, author of Promising Language: Betrothal in Victorian Law and Fiction
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791488621
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 413 KB

Meet the Author

Kate Lawson is Associate Professor of English at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Lynn Shakinovsky is Associate Professor of English at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 "A frightful object": Romance, Obsession, and Death in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birth-Mark" 23
2 Domestic Violence, Abjection, and the Comic Novel: Anthony Trollope's: Barchester Towers 41
3 Violence, Causality, and the "Shock of History": George Eliot's "Janet's Repentance" 61
4 "The Sins of the Father" and "The Female Line": Phantom Visitations and Cruelty in Elizabeth Gaskell's "The Poor Clare" 85
5 Rape, Transgression, and the Law: The Body of Marian Erle in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's: Aurora Leigh 105
6 "Will she end like Me?": Violence and the Uncanny in Wilkie Collins's: Man and Wife 125
Conclusion 151
Notes 159
Works Cited 181
Index 195
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