A bold study on the very epicentre of Victorian ideology: the white, male body
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.
- Provides a wide variety of essays on different aspects of Victorian literature and culture with subjects ranging from nature poetry, disability and pirates, fat and thin men, ghost soldiers and popular magazines
- Opens up a neglected field of study with a scrutinizing focus on the ideologically most important body in Victorian society
- Allows a re-evaluation of other areas of Victorian culture such as colonialism and debates about class, religion and science
- Enables a detailed and clear reassessment of the Victorian concepts of manliness, masculinity, homosociality, morality, action, and adventure
About the Author:
Joanne Ella Parsons is Lecturer at Bath Spa University. She is the editor of the Wilkie Collins journal, and her publications include Muller, N and J. Parsons (eds.) Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Special Issue: The Male Body in Victorian Literature and Culture 36.4 (September 2014) and Parsons, Joanne Ella. 'Surtees' 'Eating Englishness and Causing Chaos: Food and the Body of the Fat Man in R. S. Surtees' Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities, Handley Cross and Hillingdon Hall' Nineteenth-Century Contexts 36.4 (September 2014).
Ruth Heholt is Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth University. Her publications include edited scholarly edition of The Story of Lilly Dawson, by Catherine Crowe (Victorian Secrets Press, 2015), Haunted Landscapes: Super-Nature and the Environment Ruth Heholt and Niamh Downing (eds), (Rowman Littlefield), and Gothic Localities: Dark Places in the Provinces and Margins of the British Isles, Ruth Heholt and William Hughes (eds), (University of Wales Press).