The Victorian Male Body

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-06-01
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

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The Victorian Male Body examines some of the main expressions and practices of Victorian masculinity and its embodied physicality. The white, and frequently middle class, male body was often normalised as the epitome of Victorian values. Whilst there has been a long and fruitful discussion around the concept of the 'too-visible' body of the colonised subject and the expectations placed on women's bodies, the idealised male body has received less attention in scholarly discussions. Through its examination of a broad range of Victorian literary and cultural texts, this new collection opens up a previously neglected field of study with a scrutinising focus on what is arguably the ideologically most important body in Victorian society.

This collection provides a wide variety of essays on different aspects of Victorian literature and culture, considering the variety of forms that this 'idealised' male body actually encompassed: fat, starving or disabled bodies, the ghostly figure, the 'othered' body, and the developing body of the schoolboy. The chapters in this book offer a detailed and clear reassessment of the Victorian concepts of manliness, masculinity, homosociality, morality, action, and adventure.

Author Biography

Joanne Ella Parsons is Lecturer at Bath Spa University.

Ruth Heholt is Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth University.

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