The Body Economic: Life, Death, and Sensation in Political Economy and the Victorian Novel / Edition 1

The Body Economic: Life, Death, and Sensation in Political Economy and the Victorian Novel / Edition 1

by Catherine Gallagher
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691123586

ISBN-13: 9780691123585

Pub. Date: 11/21/2005

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The Body Economic revises the intellectual history of nineteenth-century Britain by demonstrating that political economists and the writers who often presented themselves as their literary antagonists actually held most of their basic social assumptions in common. Catherine Gallagher demonstrates that political economists and their Romantic and early-Victorian critics

Overview

The Body Economic revises the intellectual history of nineteenth-century Britain by demonstrating that political economists and the writers who often presented themselves as their literary antagonists actually held most of their basic social assumptions in common. Catherine Gallagher demonstrates that political economists and their Romantic and early-Victorian critics jointly relocated the idea of value from the realm of transcendent spirituality to that of organic "life," making human sensations-especially pleasure and pain-the sources and signs of that value. The Body Economic explains how these shared views of life, death, and sensation helped shape and were modified by the two most important Victorian novelists: Charles Dickens and George Eliot. It reveals how political economists interacted crucially with the life sciences of the nineteenth century-especially with psychophysiology and anthropology-to produce the intellectual world that nurtured not only George Eliot's realism but also turn-of-the-century literary modernism.

About the Author:
Catherine Gallagher is the Eggers Professor of English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of several previous books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691123585
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/21/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
The Romantics and the Political Economists     7
Bioeconomics and Somaeconomics: Life and Sensation in Classical Political Economy     35
Hard Times and the Somaeconomics of the Early Victorians     62
The Bioeconomics of Our Mutual Friend     86
Daniel Deronda and the Too Much of Literature     118
Malthusian Anthropology and the Aesthetics of Sacrifice in Scenes of Clerical Life     156
Afterword     185
Index     195

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