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Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body

$40.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

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

$ 40.99 (C)

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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 151 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.351kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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

  • Author

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

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