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Imagining the Dead in British Literature and Culture, 1790–1848

Authors: McAllister, David

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  • Examines why the dead were believed to hold a stake in political and social issues, and how reformers sought to distance them from the living
  • Investigates to what extent the dead influenced social norms and change in the first half of the nineteenth century
  • Offers a literary focus to the interdisciplinary field of Death Studies by looking at Wordsworth, Dickens, De Quincey and Godwin, and placing them in dialogue with a compelling range of Romantic and Victorian writers from the fields of psychology, aesthetics, philosophy, educational theory and politics. 
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eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97731-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97730-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-030-07396-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

This book offers the first account of the dead as an imagined community in the early nineteenth-century. It examines why Romantic and Victorian writers (including Wordsworth, Dickens, De Quincey, Godwin, and D’Israeli) believed that influencing the imaginative conception of the dead was a way to either advance, or resist, social and political reform. This interdisciplinary study contributes to the burgeoning field of Death Studies by drawing on the work of both canonical and lesser-known writers, reformers, and educationalists to show how both literary representation of the dead, and the burial and display of their corpses in churchyards, dissecting-rooms, and garden cemeteries, responded to developments in literary aesthetics, psychology, ethics, and political philosophy. Imagining the Dead in British Literature and Culture, 1790-1848 shows that whether they were lauded as exemplars or loathed as tyrants, rendered absent by burial, or made uncannily present through exhumation and display, the dead were central to debates about the shape and structure of British society as it underwent some of the most radical transformations in its history. 

About the authors

David McAllister is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, UK, and a Director of the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. He has published articles on a range of Victorian and Romantic writers, including Dickens, Carlyle, Wordsworth, and Gaskell.  

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)
  • Introduction: Revolutionising the Dead: Burke, Paine, De Quincey

    Pages 1-33

    McAllister, David

  • Burial, Community, and the Domestic Affections in Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads

    Pages 35-71

    McAllister, David

  • ‘The Feelings of the Living and the Rights of the Dead’: Ethics and Emotions; Bodies and Burial; Godwin and Bentham

    Pages 73-112

    McAllister, David

  • Death in the Schoolroom: Associationist Education and Children’s Poetry Books

    Pages 113-151

    McAllister, David

  • Dickens’s ‘Better Thoughts of Death’: Psychology, Sentimentalism, and the Garden-Cemetery Aesthetic of The Old Curiosity Shop

    Pages 153-195

    McAllister, David

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97731-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97730-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-030-07396-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Imagining the Dead in British Literature and Culture, 1790–1848
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-97731-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-97731-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-97730-0
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-07396-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 227
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics