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Thinking about Other People in Nineteenth-Century British Writing

$26.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: September 2010
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511903793

$ 26.00 USD
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About the Authors
  • Nineteenth-century life and literature are full of strange accounts that describe the act of one person thinking about another as an ethically problematic, sometimes even a dangerously powerful thing to do. In this book, Adela Pinch explains why, when, and under what conditions it is possible, or desirable, to believe that thinking about another person could affect them. She explains why nineteenth-century British writers - poets, novelists, philosophers, psychologists, devotees of the occult - were both attracted to and repulsed by radical or substantial notions of purely mental relations between persons, and why they moralized about the practice of thinking about other people in interesting ways. Working at the intersection of literary studies and philosophy, this book both sheds new light on a neglected aspect of Victorian literature and thought, and explores the consequences of, and the value placed on, this strand of thinking about thinking.

    • Offers important new insights into nineteenth-century ideas about the power of thought in philosophy, literature and the occult
    • Includes substantial, persuasive new interpretations of key texts in Victorian literature, by authors such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Coventry Patmore, George Meredith and George Eliot
    • Contains detailed material about neglected nineteenth-century philosophers and pseudo-philosophical theorists such as James Frederick Ferrier, Shadworth Hodgson and Mary Everest Boole
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book's first surprise is to make a seemingly broad subject strikingly specific. Pinch's dazzling readings of a variety of literary forms ensure we will envision 'a Victorian world crowded with extra personal thought-energy' for a long time to come.' Debra Gettelman, The Review of English Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511903793
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: love thinking
    1. Thinking as action: James Frederick Ferrier's Philosophy of Consciousness
    2. Foam, aura, or melody: theorizing mental force in Victorian Britain
    3. Thinking in the second person in nineteenth-century poetry
    4. Thinking and knowing in Patmore and Meredith
    5. Daniel Deronda and the omnipotence of thought
    Conclusion: the ethics of belief and the poetics of thinking about another person.

  • Author

    Adela Pinch, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Adela Pinch is Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies, University of Michigan.

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