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The Brontës and the Idea of the Human
Science, Ethics, and the Victorian Imagination

$105.00

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Alexandra Lewis, Sally Shuttleworth, Dinah Birch, Janis McLarren Caldwell, Helen Groth, Deborah Denenholz Morse, Helen Small, Jan-Melissa Schramm, Simon Marsden, Rebecca Styler, Isobel Armstong, Barbara Hardy, Blake Morrison
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  • Date Published: No date available
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107154810

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About the Authors
  • What does it mean to be human? The Brontë novels and poetry are fascinated by what lies at the core - and limits - of the human. The Brontës and the Idea of the Human presents a significant re-evaluation of how Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë each responded to scientific, legal, political, theological, literary, and cultural concerns in ways that redraw the boundaries of the human for the nineteenth century. Proposing innovative modes of approach for the twenty-first century, leading scholars shed light on the relationship between the role of the imagination and new definitions of the human subject. This important interdisciplinary study scrutinises the notion of the embodied human and moves beyond it to explore the force and potential of the mental and imaginative powers for constructions of selfhood, community, spirituality, degradation, cruelty, and ethical behaviour in the nineteenth century and its fictional worlds.

    • Eminent scholars provide new insights into the writing of the Brontë sisters and their cultural contexts
    • Investigates the relationships between between literature, science, psychology, religion, law, and ethics to re-evaluate nineteenth-century understandings of what it means to be human
    • Delivers an interdisciplinary study of the relationship between the role of the imagination and new definitions of the human subject
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    Product details

    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107154810
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: human subjects: reimagining the Brontës for twenty-first-century scholarship Alexandra Lewis
    1. Hanging, crushing, and shooting: animals, violence and child-rearing in Brontë fiction Sally Shuttleworth
    2. Learning to imagine Dinah Birch
    3. Charlotte Brontë and the science of the imagination Janis McLarren Caldwell
    4. Being human: de-gendering mental anxiety
    or hysteria, hypochondriasis, and traumatic memory in Charlotte Brontë's Villette Alexandra Lewis
    5. Charlotte Brontë and the listening reader Helen Groth
    6. Burning art and political resistance: Anne Brontë's radical imaginary of wives, slaves, and animals in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Deborah Denenholz Morse
    7. Degraded nature: Wuthering Heights and the last poems of Emily Brontë Helen Small
    8. 'Angels … recognize our innocence': on theology and 'human rights' in the fiction of the Brontës Jan-Melissa Schramm
    9. 'A strange change approaching': ontology, reconciliation, and eschatology in Wuthering Heights Simon Marsden
    10. 'Surely some oracle has been with me': women's prophecy and ethical rebuke in poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë Rebecca Styler
    11. Jane Eyre, a teaching experiment Isobel Armstrong
    12. Fiction as critique: postcripts to Jane Eyre and Villette Barbara Hardy
    13. We are three sisters: the lives of the Brontës as a Chekhovian play Blake Morrison.

  • Editor

    Alexandra Lewis, University of Aberdeen
    Alexandra Lewis is Senior Lecturer in English Literature, and Director of the Centre for the Novel, at the University of Aberdeen. She is editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Wuthering Heights (2014), and has published extensively on the Brontës, memory and trauma, and nineteenth-century literature and psychology.

    Contributors

    Alexandra Lewis, Sally Shuttleworth, Dinah Birch, Janis McLarren Caldwell, Helen Groth, Deborah Denenholz Morse, Helen Small, Jan-Melissa Schramm, Simon Marsden, Rebecca Styler, Isobel Armstong, Barbara Hardy, Blake Morrison

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