The Victorian Male Body

The Victorian Male Body


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The Victorian Male Body examines some of the main expressions and practices of Victorian masculinity and its embodied physicality. The white, and frequently middle class, male body was often normalised as the epitome of Victorian values. Whilst there has been a long and fruitful discussion around the concept of the 'too-visible' body of the colonised subject and the expectations placed on women's bodies, the idealised male body has received less attention in scholarly discussions. Through its examination of a broad range of Victorian literary and cultural texts, this new collection opens up a previously neglected field of study with a scrutinising focus on what is arguably the ideologically most important body in Victorian society.

This collection provides a wide variety of essays on different aspects of Victorian literature and culture, considering the variety of forms that this 'idealised' male body actually encompassed: fat, starving or disabled bodies, the ghostly figure, the 'othered' body, and the developing body of the schoolboy. The chapters in this book offer a detailed and clear reassessment of the Victorian concepts of manliness, masculinity, homosociality, morality, action, and adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474428606
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 06/01/2018
Series: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture Series
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Joanne Ella Parsons is Lecturer at Bath Spa University.

Ruth Heholt is Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth University.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Visible and Invisible Bodies, Ruth Heholt and Joanne Ella Parsons;
I. Constructed Bodies;
1. Violent Play and Regular Discipline: The Abuses of the Schoolboy Body in Victorian Fiction, Alice Crossley;
2. Punishing the unregulated manly body and emotions in early Victorian England, Joanne Begiato;
3. The New Man's Body in Ménie Muriel Dowie's Gallia, Tara MacDonald;
II. Fractured and Fragmented Bodies;
4. Pirates and Prosthetics: Manly Messages for Managing Limb Loss in Victorian and Edwardian Adventure Narratives, Ryan Sweet,
5. Tuberculosis and Visionary Sensibility: The Consumptive Body as Masculine Dissent in George Eliot and Henry James, Meredith Miller;
6. Monstrous Masculinities from the Macaroni to the Masher: Reading the Gothic 'Gentleman', Alison Younger;
7. Visible Yet Immaterial: The Phantom and the Male Body in Ghost Stories by Three Victorian Women Writers, Ruth Heholt;
III. Unruly Bodies;
8. Aesthetics of Deviance: George du Maurier's Representations of the Artist's Body for Punch as Discourse on Manliness, 1870-1880, Françoise Baillet;
9. Suffering, Asceticism and the Starving Male Body in Mary Barton, Charlotte Boyce;
10. Fosco's Fat: Transgressive Consumption and Bodily Control in Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, Joanne Ella Parsons;
11. Sensationalizing Otherness: The Italian Male Body in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's 'Olivia' and 'Garibaldi', Anne-Marie Beller.

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