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Ann C. Colley
A nostalgia in and of the body, not the mind: by elucidating the roots of this form of memory, Linda Austin's extraordinarily well-researched Nostalgia in Transition makes a timely contribution to our understanding of memory's historical mutations. It will be indispensable for any scholar interested in the genealogy of modern emotions, or in forms of Victorian aesthetic response that have for too long been derided or misunderstood.—Nicholas Dames, Columbia University, author of Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870"Using historical theories of the mnemonic process, especially those emphasizing sensation and physical movement, Linda M. Austin offers a means of understanding nostalgia and its transition from a medical to an aesthetic concept. Her close reading of literary texts, her analytic description of selected paintings, as well as her careful research into the social and psychophysical contexts of these cultural materials combine to give fresh insights into one of the most enduring aspects of our lives.