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Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body

$47.00

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: March 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521025515

$47.00
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About the Authors
  • Anna Silver examines the ways nineteenth-century British writers used physical states of the female body--hunger, appetite, fat and slenderness--in the creation of female characters. She argues that anorexia nervosa, first diagnosed in 1873, serves as a paradigm for the cultural ideal of middle-class womanhood in Victorian Britain. Silver uses the works of a wide range of writers (including Charlotte Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker and Lewis Carroll) to demonstrate that mainstream models of middle-class Victorian womanhood share important qualities with the beliefs or behaviors of the anorexic female.

    • An innovative study on the relation between Victorian literature and anorexia
    • More broadly, examines the place of the body in Victorian literature
    • Offers new readings of well-known authors such as Charlotte Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Anna Krugovoy Silver's book [has] an immediate relevancy and edge. Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body convincingly shows that the paradigms of anorexia are at work in almost every Victorian text...[T]his book provides a readable and straightforward account and a helpful summary of the literature on anorexia and Victorianism." Kirstie Blair, St. Peter's College, Oxford, George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies

    "Silver offers an analysis of what she terms the 'Victorian culture of anorexia,' a culture that links feminine slenderness with such moral qualities as self-control and piety.... [T]he book is lucid and well written. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." Choice

    "...fascinating and well-researched..." English Literature In Transition 1880-1920

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521025515
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    Introduction
    1. Waisted women: reading Victorian slenderness
    2. Appetite in Victorian children's literature
    3. Hunger and repression in Shirley and Villette
    4. Vampirism and the anorexic paradigm
    5. Christina Rossetti's sacred hunger
    Conclusion: the politics of thinness
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Anna Krugovoy Silver, Mercer University, Georgia
    Anna Krugovoy Silver is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at Mercer University. She has published essays in Studies in English and Victorians Institute Journal.

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