The Victorian Supernatural

Overview

This collection brings together essays by scholars from literature, history of art and history of science which explore the diversity of Victorian fascination with the supernatural: ghosts and fairies, table-rappings and telepathic encounters, occult religions and the idea of reincarnation, visions of the other world and a reality beyond the everyday. These essays demonstrate that the supernatural was not simply a reaction to the "post-Darwinian loss of faith", but was embedded in virtually every aspect of ...

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Overview

This collection brings together essays by scholars from literature, history of art and history of science which explore the diversity of Victorian fascination with the supernatural: ghosts and fairies, table-rappings and telepathic encounters, occult religions and the idea of reincarnation, visions of the other world and a reality beyond the everyday. These essays demonstrate that the supernatural was not simply a reaction to the "post-Darwinian loss of faith", but was embedded in virtually every aspect of Victorian culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this volume has something for everyone." B.F. Fisher, University of Mississippi, Choice
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nicola Bown teaches Victorian literature and art at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of Fairies in Nineteenth-Century Art and Literature (Cambridge, 2001).

Carolyn Burdett is Principal Lecturer in English at London Metropolitan University. She is the author of Olive Schreiner and the Progress of Feminism: Evolution, Gender, Empire (2000).

Pamela Thurschwell is a lecturer in English at University College London, She is the author of Literature, Technology and Magical Thinking 1880-1920 (2001) and Sigmund Freud (2000).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on contributors
Foreword
Introduction 1
1 Spiritualism, science and the supernatural in mid-Victorian Britian 23
2 Investigations and fictions: Charles Dickens and ghosts 44
3 Spectral politics: the Victorian ghost story and the domestic servant 67
4 George Eliot's prophecies: coercive second sight and everyday thought reading 87
5 Browning, the dramatic monologue and the resuscitation of the dead 109
6 Baron Corvo and the key to the underworld 128
7 What is the Stuff that dreams are made of? 151
8 Holman Hunt, William Dyce and the image of Christ 173
9 Knowledge, belief and the supernatural at the imperial margin 197
10 Romance, reincarnation and Rider Haggard 217
11 The origins of modernism in the haunted properties of literature 239
12 Afterword 258
Bibliography 279
Index 300
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