In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

ELT 49 : 2 2006 and Present has become one the most frequently analyzed mid-Victorian narrative paintings. Helene E. Roberts's "Marriage, Redundancy or Sin," in Suffer and Be Still, the pioneering 1972 collection of essays on Victorian womanhood edited by Martha Vicinus, paid special attention to moral exhortations; Nina Auerbach, in Woman and the Demon (1982), sees the woman's subversive power as well as her punishment; Problem Pictures: Women and Men in Victorian Painting by Pamela Gerrish Nunn (1995) frames the discussion in a broader art-historical context; and Lynda Nead's 1988 Myths of Sexuality supplies an extremely detailed account that includes most of the issues raised by Julia Thomas. One reason that illustrated books and periodicals became so significant in the nineteenth century was, of course, the technical developments that made it possible to print finely detailed wood engraving on the same page as text—and our own new technologies allow Pictorial Victorians to reproduce Victorian illustrations with striking clarity right next to the passages of explanation and analysis. The book also has color images (not of art-book quality, but at least with details visible ) in a set of separate pages at its center. The combination makes it much easier to hold and to read than some other recent books on Victorian visual culture. In my nonexpert judgment (I'm always looking for people to teach me how to look at pictures), Julia Thomas gives us two very good chapters (the one on Uncle Tom's Cabin and the one on empire) and resurrects one very interesting person (Eleanor Vere Boyle). The rest is attractively presented and fairly solid but less innovative . The writing and language throughout are clear enough for undergraduate readers as well as scholars. Above all, Pictorial Victorians has several extended passages that helped me understand what goes into a close reading of visual details in their historical context. SALLY MITCHELL ________________ Temple University Hardy's Vision of Wessex Simon Gatrell. Thomas Hardy's Vision of Wessex. New York: Palgrave Macmillan , 2003. xvii + 264 pp. $69.95 WRITING to publisher Edward Marston many years after his first use of the word "Wessex" in the serialization of Far From the Madding Crowd (1874), Thomas Hardy encouraged him to signal as firmly as possible Hardy's own presumptive right to some kind of ownership of the term: 214 BOOK REVIEWS Could you, whenever advertising my books, use the words "Wessex novels " at the head of the list? I mean, instead of "By T. H.," "T. H.'s Wessex novels," or something of the sort? I find that the name Wessex, wh. I was the first to use in fiction, is getting to be taken up everywhere: & it would be a pity for us to lose the right to it for want of asserting it. It might also be used on the paper covers of the novels. (The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy, Purdy and Millgate, ed. [Oxford: Clarendon, 1978], I: 171.) Despite Hardy's desire to try to protect his own narrative turf by establishing notional copyright in the archaic regional designation with which his name had become so closely associated, he had by the late 1880s, when this letter was written, little real cause for concern about losing claim to "Wessex" by default. Within a few years, books such as Bertram Windle's The Wessex of Thomas Hardy (1902), Charles G. Harper's The Hardy Country: Literary Landmarks of the Wessex Novels (1904), and Hermann Lea's classic, and Hardy-sanctioned, Thomas Hardy's Wessex (1913) would be competing for the bibliophilie tourist 's attention in a lively Wessex guidebook market. In addition, those guides, such as Wilkinson Sherren's The Wessex of Romance (1902), which didn't actually give titular prominence to Hardy's name, often structured their accounts of this part of England around Hardy's work, and even those that concerned themselves primarily with Wessex-inEngland rather than Wessex-in-fiction (to use Simon Gatrell's useful distinction) still tended to make an opening or closing gesture towards Hardy's fictional landscape. Thus Clive Holland's Wessex (1906), after an exhaustive historical and topographical wander through the West Country, ends with...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 214-218
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.