spirits and spirituality in victorian fiction

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Spirits And Spirituality In Victorian Fiction

Author : Jen Cadwallader
ISBN : 1137559926
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 59. 27 MB
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Spirits and Spirituality in Victorian Fiction argues that supernatural encounters in nineteenth-century fiction show Victorians trying to achieve greater spiritual agency by adapting scientific theories to traditional Christianity. The increasing presence of ghosts across the nineteenth century – in fiction, newspaper accounts, séances, and magic shows – thus highlights a significant countercurrent to the general decline of faith during the period. Through examining ghost encounters in the fiction of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Charles Dickens, Margaret Oliphant, Rhoda Broughton, E. Nesbit, Rudyard Kipling, and others, this book demonstrates how the supernatural served as a site where a range of stances toward spirituality could be tested: from ambivalence toward both scientific and religious epistemologies to fascinating instances of spiritual evolution. Not only do fictional ghosts suggest that belief persisted despite an intellectual climate that often associated spirituality with credulity, but they also illustrate the way faith adapted to scientific innovation and evolved to encompass new theories regarding the mind.

Victorian Ghosts In The Noontide

Author : Vanessa D. Dickerson
ISBN : 0826210813
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 31. 20 MB
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Technological advances eliminated many of the jobs women were accustomed to doing. This left women looking for their place in society. A sense of "in-betweenness" developed in these women who were now expected to attend not only to the physical but also to the moral and spiritual needs of the family. As an answer to this "in-betweenness" some channeled their power toward the art of writing. Because people in the mid-1800s were so thoroughly engaged in scientific thought and advancements, supernatural folklore and spirituality were disreputable ideas for anyone, especially women, to explore. Ghosts and spirits were tied to old-wives' tales, superstitions, and legends. However, by focusing on these concepts and using fiction as an outlet, women were able to make great strides in being seen and heard. The art of writing functioned as an exploration of their spiritualism in which women discovered expression, freedom, and power

The Idea Of Music In Victorian Fiction

Author : Nicky Losseff
ISBN : 9781317028062
Genre : Music
File Size : 75. 41 MB
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The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction seeks to address fundamental questions about the function, meaning and understanding of music in nineteenth-century culture and society, as mediated through works of fiction. The eleven essays here, written by musicologists and literary scholars, range over a wide selection of works by both canonical writers such as Austen, Benson, Carlyle, Collins, Gaskell, Gissing, Eliot, Hardy, du Maurier and Wilde, and less-well-known figures such as Gertrude Hudson and Elizabeth Sara Sheppard. Each essay explores different strategies for interpreting the idea of music in the Victorian novel. Some focus on the degree to which scenes involving music illuminate what music meant to the writer and contemporary performers and listeners, and signify musical tastes of the time and the reception of particular composers. Other essays in the volume examine aspects of gender, race, sexuality and class that are illuminated by the deployment of music by the novelist. Together with its companion volume, The Figure of Music in Nineteenth-Century British Poetry edited by Phyllis Weliver (Ashgate, 2005), this collection suggests a new network of methodologies for the continuing cultural and social investigation of nineteenth-century music as reflected in that period's literary output.

Spirits Of The Age Ghost Stories And The Victorian Psyche

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ISBN : 1109113749
Genre :
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"Spirits of the Age: Ghost Stories and the Victorian Psyche" situates the ghost as a central figure in an on-going debate between nascent psychology and theology over the province of the psyche. Early in the nineteenth century, physiologists such as Samuel Hibbert, John Ferriar and William Newnham posited theories that sought to trace spiritual experiences to physical causes, a move that participated in the more general "attack on faith" lamented by intellectuals of the Victorian period. By mid-century, various of these theories -- from ghosts as a form of "sunspot" to ghost-seeing as a result of strong drink -- had disseminated widely across popular culture, and, I argue, had become a key feature of the period's ghost fiction. Fictional ghosts provided an access point for questions regarding the origins and nature of experience: Ebenezer Scrooge, for example, must decide if he is being visited by his former business partner or a particularly nasty stomach disorder. The answer to this question, here and in ghost fiction across the period, points toward the shifting dynamic between spiritual and scientific epistemologies. As I demonstrate, Victorian ghost stories reveal an intellectual climate wherein writers such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu reject the rigid binary in which the meaning of experience is dictated by either religious or scientific thought; instead, by drawing on the very psychological theories which sought to dismiss the divine nature of the supernatural, these writers argue for a greater degree of human agency in determining experience's spiritual value. Ghost stories thus represent a countercurrent in the trend toward increased secularism in the Victorian period. By employing the theories and methodologies of the psychologist, ghost story writers reimagined the mind's ability to access the divine. In each of the ghost stories I examine, I argue that a new faith in the power of the mind reinvigorated Victorian spiritual faith.

Victorian Fiction

Author : S. D Sharma
ISBN : 8176252743
Genre : English fiction
File Size : 82. 55 MB
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Neo Victorian Fiction And Historical Narrative

Author : L. Hadley
ISBN : 9780230317499
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 82. 60 MB
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Placing the popular genre of neo-Victorian fiction within the context of the contemporary cultural fascination with the Victorians, this book argues that these novels are distinguished by a commitment to historical specificity and understands them within their contemporary context and the context of Victorian historical and literary narratives.

Possessed Victorians

Author : Sarah A. Willburn
ISBN : 0754655407
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 28. 17 MB
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Drawing upon extensive archival work in the British Library, Sarah Willburn analyzes séance accounts, novels about mediumship, and metaphysical treatises to formulate a new conception of individualism that offers a fresh look at Victorian subjectivity. She presents the theories of compelling characters such as Newton Crosland and Lois Waisbrooker and provides exciting new readings of well-known texts by Charlotte Brontë, Eliot, Martineau, and Corelli.

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