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Literary Celebrity, Gender, and Victorian Authorship, 1850-1914 (Hardback)

Alexis Easley

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ISBN 10: 1611490162 / ISBN 13: 9781611490169
Edité par University of Delaware Press, United States, 2011
Neuf(s) Etat : New Hardback
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A propos de cet article

Language: English . Brand New Book. This study examines literary celebrity in Britain from 1850 to 1914 with chapters focused on a variety of Victorian authors, including Charles Dickens, Harriet Martineau, and Octavia Hill. Through lively analysis of rare cultural materials, Easley demonstrates the crucial role of the celebrity author in the formation of British national identity. As Victorians toured the homes and haunts of famous writers, they developed a sense of shared national heritage. At the same time, by reading sensational accounts of writers lives, they were able to reconsider conventional gender roles and domestic arrangements. Women writers capitalized on celebrity media as a way of furthering their own careers and retelling British history on their own terms. Easley demonstrates how the trope of the literary celebrity was utilized for other purposes as well, including the professionalization of medicine, the development of the open space movement, and the formation of the literary canon. N° de réf. du libraire ANB9781611490169

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Literary Celebrity, Gender, and Victorian ...

Éditeur : University of Delaware Press, United States

Date d'édition : 2011

Reliure : Hardback

Etat du livre :New

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

This study examines literary celebrity in Britain from 1850 to 1914. Through lively analysis of rare cultural materials, Easley demonstrates the crucial role of the celebrity author in the formation of British national identity. As Victorians toured the homes and haunts of famous writers, they developed a sense of shared national heritage. At the same time, by reading sensational accounts of writers' lives, they were able to reconsider conventional gender roles and domestic arrangements. As women were featured in interviews and profiles, they were increasingly associated with the ephemerality of the popular press and were often excluded from emerging narratives of British literary history, which defined great literature as having a timeless appeal. Nevertheless, women writers were able to capitalize on celebrity media as a way of furthering their own careers and retelling history on their own terms. Press attention had a more positive effect on men's literary careers since they were expected to assume public identities; however, in some cases, media exposure had the effect of sensationalizing their lives, bodies, and careers. With the development of proto-feminist criticism and historiography, the life stories of male writers were increasingly used to expose unhealthy domestic relationships and imagine ideal forms of British masculinity. The first section of Literary Celebrity explores the practice of literary tourism in Victorian Britain, focusing specifically on the homes and haunts of Charles Dickens, Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Harriet Martineau. This investigation incorporates analysis of fascinating cultural texts, including maps, periodicals, and tourist guidebooks. Easley links the practice of literary tourism to a variety of cultural developments, including nationalism, urbanization, spiritualism, the women's movement, and the expansion of popular print culture. The second section provides fresh insight into the ways that celebrity culture informed the

Critique:

In this intriguing study, Easley (Univ. of St. Thomas, St. Paul) joins Tricia Lootens (Lost Saints, 1996) and Linda Peterson (Becoming a Woman of Letters, CH, Oct'09, 47-0730) in studying the intersections of gender, cultural authority, and new definitions of authorship. Arguing that Victorian celebrity culture spread in conjunction with popular tourism and mass-market periodicals, the author focuses on "literary tourism," in which readers journey (literally and figuratively) to their heroes' near-sanctified "homes and haunts." In section 1, she analyzes urban and rural literary tourism, showing how the construction of authorial domesticity in land- and cityscapes shifted abruptly from male authors (Dickens) to female (Barrett Browning, Eliot, Rossetti, Martineau). In section 2, Easley turns to celebrity and history writing, both by historians like Martineau constructing and manipulating their public image, and by those who studied past authors through architectural spaces (some of which became tourist destinations). And in section 3 she discusses how gendered notions of authorship and fame emerged in different print markets, from popular gossip rags to "serious" medical journals. Although the chapter on Octavia Hill's housing and landscape activism needed to be better integrated, the book as a whole convincingly historicizes the emergence of modern celebrities, especially female celebrities. CHOICE Alexis Easley's Literary Celebrity, Gender, and Victorian Authorship, 1850-1914, engages well with how authors negotiated, and were shaped by, the increasing visibility of their profession and the place of the celebrity author within national identity formation. Easley deftly offers keen insights into how the Victorians began casting authors as cultural exemplars, turning their homes into sites of touristic visits, and links the expansion of mass periodical press and media at the latter end of the century with a rise in celebrity media and cultural framing of authors as media stars. The Year's Work In English Studies

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