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Look Inside Sensation and Modernity in the 1860s

Sensation and Modernity in the 1860s


Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: November 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107630208

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About the Authors
  • This book studies high and low culture in the years before the Reform Act of 1867, which vastly increased the number of voters in Victorian Britain. As many commentators worried about the political consequences of this 'Leap in the Dark', authors and artists began to re-evaluate their own role in a democratic society that was also becoming more urban and more anonymous. While some fantasized about ways of capturing and holding the attention of the masses, others preferred to make art and literature more exclusive, to shut out the crowd. One path led to 'Sensation'; the other to aestheticism, though there were also efforts to evade this opposition. This book examines the fiction, drama, fine art, and ephemeral forms of these years against the backdrop of Reform. Authors and artists studied include Wilkie Collins, Dion Boucicault, Charles Dickens, James McNeill Whistler, and the popular illustrator Alfred Concanen.

    • Provides a fresh understanding of culture in this period by examining the political context of cultural change
    • An interdisciplinary study which considers fiction, drama, fine art, and ephemeral forms of the 1860s
    • Re-evaluation of well-known texts and images with study of relatively unknown material
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… scholars will welcome Daly's work which opens up fields of thought and investigation in ways that usefully complicate the preconceptions and misconceptions surrounding the Victorian era.'

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107630208
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The woman in white and the crowd
    2. The many lives of the Colleen Bawn: pastoral spectacle
    3. The white girl: aestheticism as mesmerism
    4. Black and white in the 1860s
    5. The chromolithographers of modern life

  • Author

    Nicholas Daly, University College Dublin
    Nicholas Daly is Chair in Modern English and American Literature, School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin.

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