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Royal Representations: Queen Victoria and British Culture, 1837-1876

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Overview

Queen Victoria was one of the most complex cultural productions of her age. In Royal Representations, Margaret Homans investigates the meanings Victoria held for her times, Victoria's own contributions to Victorian writing and art, and the cultural mechanisms through which her influence was felt.

Arguing that being, seeming, and appearing were crucial to Victoria's "rule," Homans explores the variability of Victoria's agency and of its representations using a wide array of literary, historical, and visual sources. Along the way she shows how Victoria provided a deeply equivocal model for women's powers in and out of marriage, how Victoria's dramatic public withdrawal after Albert's death helped to ease the monarchy's transition to an entirely symbolic role, and how Victoria's literary self-representations influenced debates over political self-representation.

Homans considers versions of Victoria in the work of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, John Ruskin, Margaret Oliphant, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Julia Margaret Cameron.

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What People Are Saying

Dorothy Mermin
Royal Representations is brilliantly argued and richly documented, with wonderful analyses of politics, literature, paintings, photographs, memorials to Prince Albert, and popular representations of the Queen, and with delightful illustrations. -- Cornell University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226351131
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Series: Women in Culture and Society Series Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Figures
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Queen's Agency
1 Queen Victoria's Sovereign Obedience 1
"The Queen Has No Equal": The Problem of a Female Monarchy 1
Privacy on Display: The Queen as Wife and Mother 17
The Queenly Courtship of Elizabeth Barrett 33
Photographic Realism's Abject Queens 43
2 Queen Victoria's Widowhood and the Making of Victorian Queens 58
The Invisible Queen 58
Domestic Queens: Miss Marjoribanks 67
Making Queens: "Of Queens' Gardens" and the Alice Books 85
3 The Widow as Author and the Arts and Powers of Concealment 100
Bagehot's The English Constitution 101
The Queen's Books: The Early Years of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort 115
The Queen's Books: Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands 131
The Reform Bill and the Queen's Footnotes 146
4 Queen Victoria's Memorial Arts 157
Albert Memorials 157
Tennyson's Idylls of the King as an Albert Memorial 179
Cameron's Photographic Idylls: Allegorical Realism and Memorial Art 202
Epilogue: Empire of Grief 229
Notes 245
Index 277
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