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Reviews when she claims that the charge that EHot is sympathetic to imperiaHsm is anachronistic, because "imperiaHsm, as a totalizing term applying to the British colonies" (107) was not avaüable to EHot as a sufficiently coherently formulated concept for her to be able to offer a critique of it. Henry's argument here would restrict criticism to using the terms of discourses that are contemporary to the Hterary work being examined. The whole point of much post-colonial analysis is that the structures and practices of imperiaHsm preceded its formal definition. I would suggest that in Deronda as in Impressions of Theophrastus Such, another work that Henry discusses in detaü, EHot is developing a critique of what is emerging as British imperiaHsm. If Henry had spent more time on the way that the related issues of race and nation are manifested in EHot's eariier work, she would have had a fuUer context for her interpretation of Deronda. For example, she barely mentions the way that Maggie TulHver is described with the language of racial difference in The Mill on the Floss, and does not consider the relation of gender, race and national destiny in The Spanish Gypsy. Nancy Henry has written a useful but sometimes frustrating book With better organization and some more extended Hterary-critical analysis, it could have been a definitive treatment of its topic. As it is, it remains valuable for the way it brings together a wide range of evidence about EHot and the empire, estabHshed dirough painstaking research in the primary sources. Henry's work wiU undoubtedly stimulate and facüitate further critical discussion of George EHot's fiction. /. RussellPerkin Saint Mary's University ? Susan K. Harris. The Cultural Work of the Ute Nineteenth-Century Hostess: AnnieAdams Fields andMary Gladstone Drew. New York Palgrave MacmiUan, 2002. vii + 192 pp. Susan K. Harris's study of two prominent late nineteenth-century hostesses, Annie Adams Fields (1834-1915) and Mary Gladstone Drew (1847-1927), represents the intersection of several fields including cultural history, Hterary history and criticism, and women's studies. Because Fields and Drew hau from the United States and England respectively, Harris's book is necessarily 106volume 30 number 1 Reviews intercultural in its approach. She focuses on their activities between 1860 and 1890, foregrounding the social upheaval that characterized these three decades. Harris emphasizes the transitional nature of what she terms the "bridge generation" (9), framing Fields and Drew as "late Victorians [who] transformed themselves into pre-moderns" (25). Besides its transnational and period-bridging approach, the coalescence of diverse topics such as nineteenth-century diary Uterature and epistolary practices, end-of-the-century Anglo-American poHtics, and the professionalization of social work, reflect the cross-disciplinary character of Harris's work. Because of these various overlapping rubrics, The Cultural Work of the Ute Nineteenth-Century Hostess WUl be of interest to readers with diverse specializations. As a deHberate excursion into '"transAtlantic' studies" (23), Harris is more interested in demonstrating similarities between Fields and Drew than in drawing attention to differences. She argues that scholars have "missed many opportunities for comparative analysis" due to the "radical differences in [American and British] poHtical, social, demographic, and institutional evolutions" (23). The book's organization reflects the simüarities between Fields and Drew as upper-class, culturaUy-engaged women. The introductory chapter provides biographical sketches of the two women and describes the role of the society hostess, thus laying down the groundwork for the book. Besides foregrounding their status as women of privüege, which she promotes throughout as a prerequisite for the kinds of "cultural work" they were able to perform, Harris is always aware of questions of gender. From the outset she describes the figure of the hostess as "an ideal site for studying intersections of class and gender in the late nineteenth century, especiaUy the ways that weU-read, upper-class women participated in inteUectual circles even when they did not personaUy seek university training." (T). As in her previous book, The Courtship of Olivia Ungdon andMark Twain (Cambridge UP, 1997), Harris is interested in exploring women known largely because of their relationships with important men. As the daughter of British prime...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 106-110
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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