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Look Inside Blake, Sexuality and Bourgeois Politeness

Blake, Sexuality and Bourgeois Politeness


Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107449138

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About the Authors
  • Recent criticism has often overlooked William Blake's relationship to the bourgeois culture of sentimentalism, focusing instead on his association with the radical London underworld of revolutionaries, artisans and plebeian dissenters. By removing Blake from their company and reading him instead through the polite world he knew well, Susan Matthews sets out to give us a new Blake, as well as a new angle onto the conflicted development of a bourgeois culture in the late eighteenth century which was in the process of redefining the role and meaning of sexuality. With imaginative use of personalities, texts and images taken from an original range of archival material, Matthews returns to the Age of Sensibility and finds within its changing landscape answers to some of the crucial questions that remain about an artist and writer whose work continues to challenge scholars and critics today.

    • Proposes a new reading of Blake, appealing to those who find gender and sexuality problematic areas of Blake's work
    • Examines the relationship between Blake and liberal bourgeois culture
    • Explores both verbal and visual work by Blake
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Matthews' book is a fierce, fascinating, and passionate response to the last thirty years in Blake studies; it revisits the debates initiated by the feminists to claim that Blake's opinion of both gender and sexuality can only make sense if firmly placed into their historical linguistic context. Matthews successfully carves out a new area of investigation and convincingly presents a new Blake.' Sibylle Erle, Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107449138
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Happy copulation': visual enthusiasm and the sexual gaze
    2. Fuseli and the 'female dream' of Europe
    3. A history of softness: William Hayley and the triumphs of temper
    4. The essay on old maids and the learned lady
    5. Cowper's fear: nature, population, apocalypse
    6. Blake reads Richardson: anthologies, annotation and cultures of reading
    7. A 'blank in nature': Blake and cultures of mourning
    8. Adultery at the turn of the century.

  • Author

    Susan Matthews, Roehampton University, London
    Susan Matthews is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Roehampton University.

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