Picturing Reform in Victorian Britain

Picturing Reform in Victorian Britain

by Janice Carlisle


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How did Victorians, as creators and viewers of images, visualize the politics of franchise reform? This study of Victorian art and parliamentary politics, specifically in the 1840s and 1860s, answers that question by viewing the First and Second Reform Acts from the perspectives offered by Ruskin's political theories of art and Bagehot's visual theory of politics. Combining subjects and approaches characteristic of art history, political history, literary criticism, and cultural critique, Picturing Reform in Victorian Britain treats both paintings and wood engravings, particularly those published in Punch and the Illustrated London News. Carlisle analyzes unlikely pairings - a novel by Trollope and a painting by Hayter, an engraving after Leech and a high-society portrait by Landseer - to argue that such conjunctions marked both everyday life in Victorian Britain and the nature of its visual politics as it was manifested in the myriad heterogeneous and often incongruous images of illustrated journalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107479753
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/19/2015
Series: Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture , #79
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.69(w) x 9.65(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Janice Carlisle is Professor of English at Yale University and has published on a wide variety of Victorian subjects, including essays on the autobiographical novels of Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot, as well as books on the ethical implications of Victorian fiction. More recently she has written on the culture of Britain in the 1860s, and has published Common Scents: Comparative Encounters in High-Victorian Fiction (2004), a book on the sensory registers of novels written at that time.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Art as politics: lines in theory and practice; 2. Pictures on display; 3. Redrawing the franchise in the 1860s: lines around the Constitution; 4. Within the pale; Conclusion.

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