Reading The Water-Babies, Kingsley's fantasy of morphological reversion and progress, against Herbert Spencer's conception of recapitulation through primitive scientific inquiry, this paper considers how this harbinger of the "Golden Age" of children's literature sought to establish the literary text as an allegory of and vehicle for the moral cultivation of the child. No longer Romanticism's innocent ideal, the child was regarded by many post-Darwinian thinkers as a living vestige of the species' bestial, pre-human past. The scientific pedagogy proposed by Spencer, designed to help the child transcend his proto-human state, argued for instruction by nature alone. The Water-Babies adopts this pedagogical program, metamorphosing its young protagonist into a newt who must learn from first-hand observation and self-directed experimentation how to evolve back into a child. However, Kingsley's adaptation of Spencer's recapitulative pedagogy paradoxically admits and ultimately exalts literary and moral instruction within the child's miniaturized ascent from beast to boy.
Elite (Social sciences) -- England -- History -- 19th century.
This essay examines the widespread practice of oath-taking among England's professional classes and the anxieties such ritual performances provoked. In instances like the Tolpuddle Martyr trials, unauthorized oath-taking proved problematic for Victorian elites by virtue of its potential for censure. Yet traditionally authorized oaths, including those sworn in the realms of medicine, law, and government, could likewise incite public concern. Such oaths simultaneously expressed and confirmed their swearers' elite status by invoking the divine to invest that status with sacred authority—a performative act that, when repeated by lay participants, threatened to undermine carefully monitored divisions of civic power. As a result, oath-taking remained an issue of concern for Victorian elites, whose status depended upon the authority it conferred. While these individuals sought to assuage their anxieties through a variety of means, their attempts to uphold the sanctity of oath-taking ultimately exposed the practice to political and literary parody.
Pinero, Arthur Wing, Sir, 1855-1934. Sweet Lavender.
Masculinity in literature.
Money in literature.
This article focuses on the relationship between male suffering and economics in two late-Victorian melodramas, Henry Arthur Jones's The Silver King and Arthur Wing Pinero's Sweet Lavender. Both plays express contemporary anxieties about the stability of privileged male identity, offering narratives of masculine progress that affirm the superiority of moral, domestic values over economic ones while concomitantly making visible the imperative demands of the marketplace. This conflict between the domestic and economic spheres is expressed in the ailing bodies of the victimized male protagonists, whose physical incapacities suggest the limited ability of the male subject to manage the systemic contradictions that threaten the coherence of the domestic sphere. The suffering male body in late-Victorian melodrama thus emphasizes the problematic relationship between identity and money as well as the complicity of domesticity in the economic sphere to which it is nominally opposed.
Maitland, Julia Charlotte, d. 1864. Letters from Madras during the years 1836-1839.
A.U. Overland, inland, and upland: a lady's notes of personal observation and adventure.
Eden, Emily, 1797-1869. 'Up the country': letters written to her sister from the upper provinces of India.
This article examines a deep-seated Victorian preoccupation with the ways that portable property becomes the vector for the transplantation of national culture and individual identity. It argues that England's empire, the territory Charles Dilke labeled "Greater Britain," was the forcing bed from which cultural portability emerged as a new way of imagining self, community, and nation. A range of Anglo-Indian texts—among them Julia Maitland's Letters from Madras, Emily Eden's Up the Country, and the anonymous 1873 Overland, Inland, and Upland—suggest that self-styled exiles from England cultivated a connection with their fellow expatriates through objects and practices transported to the colonies from England. These mobile containers of Britishness strengthened settlers' bond to their alma mater, even as they reminded them of their distance from home. The long-distance attachments thus reified by cultural portability allowed Anglo-Indians to draw a cordon of inattention that separated them from their Indian surroundings and to engage in the willful fiction that life in India was merely a continuation of the English experience. In this way, portable repositories of mobile memory in Victorian Britain served to unify an otherwise disparate global community.
Kohn, Denise, 1963-, ed. Transatlantic Stowe: Harriet Beecher Stowe and European culture.
Meer, Sarah, 1969-, ed.
Todd, Emily B. (Emily Bishop), 1967-, ed.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism, and: Possessed Victorians: Extra Spheres in Nineteenth-Century Mystical Writings (review) [Access article in HTML][Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Tromp, Marlene, 1966- Altered states: sex, nation, drugs, and self-transformation in Victorian spiritualism.
Willburn, Sarah A., 1969- Possessed Victorians: extra spheres in nineteenth-century mystical writings.
Spiritualism -- England.
English prose literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.