Women, Portraiture and the Crisis of Identity in Victorian England-My Lady Scandalous Reconsidered

Women, Portraiture and the Crisis of Identity in Victorian England-My Lady Scandalous Reconsidered

by Colleen Denney
     
 

ISBN-10: 0754668797

ISBN-13: 9780754668794

Pub. Date: 09/01/2009

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Exploring the concept of portrait as memoir, Women, Portraiture and the Crisis of Identity in Victorian England: My Lady Scandalous Reconsidered examines the images and lives of four prominent Victorian women who steered their way through scandal to forge unique identities. The volume shows the effect of celebrity, and even notoriety, on the lives of Mary

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Overview

Exploring the concept of portrait as memoir, Women, Portraiture and the Crisis of Identity in Victorian England: My Lady Scandalous Reconsidered examines the images and lives of four prominent Victorian women who steered their way through scandal to forge unique identities. The volume shows the effect of celebrity, and even notoriety, on the lives of Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Dilke, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, and Sarah Grand. For these women, their portraits were more than speaking likenesses-whether painted or photographic, they became crucial tools the women used to negotiate their controversial identities. Women, Portraiture and the Crisis of Identity in Victorian England shows that the fascinating power of celebrity—and specifically its effects on women—was as much of a phenomenon in Victorian times as it is today. Colleen Denney explores how these women used their portraits as tools of persuasion, performing a domestic masquerade to secure privacy and acceptance, or sites of resistance, tearing down male constructions of female propriety and fighting Victorian stereotypes of intellectual women. Questioning the classic Victorian notions of "separate spheres," this volume celebrates women's search for self within the constraints of the nineteenth century, as well as within the world of present-day academia.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754668794
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Edition description:
1
Pages:
274
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: portraying smart women: scandalous revelations; Part 1 Victorian Scandals and Visual Tools of Persuasion: 'Sex, money and dirt': Mary Elizabeth Braddon, William Powell Frith, and the business of respectability; Victorian scandals and desperate political wives: a case study of Lady Dilke. Part 2 Challenging the Status Quo: A Woman's Modern Identity Formation as a Site of Resistance: 'Voiceless London': Millicent Garrett Fawcett's embodiment of the common cause or, resisting the scandal of the platform; Sarah Grand and the scandal of the new woman novelist; The scandal of the feminist woman at the fin de siècle: cultural critique in Oscar Wilde's play An Ideal Husband (1895); Bibliography; Index.

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