Flirtation and Courtship in Nineteenth-Century British Culture Book

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Flirtation and Courtship in Nineteenth-Century British Culture

By Ghislaine McDayter,John Hunter
  • ISBN Code: : 1000550125
  • Publisher : Taylor & Francis
  • Pages : 586
  • Category : History
  • Reads : 666
  • Book Compatibility : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Pdf : flirtation-and-courtship-in-nineteenth-century-british-culture.pdf

Book Excerpt :

This is volume three of a three-volume set that brings together a rich collection of primary source materials on flirtation and courtship in the nineteenth-century. Introductory essays and extensive editorial apparatus offer historical and cultural contexts of the materials included Throughout the long nineteenth-century, a woman’s life was commonly thought to fall into three discrete developmental stages; personal formation and a gendered education; a young woman’s entrance onto the marriage market; and finally her emergence at the apogee of normative femininity as wife and mother. In all three stages of development, there was an unspoken awareness of the duplicity at the heart of this carefully cultivated femininity. What women were taught, no matter their age, was that if you desired anything in life, it behooved you to perform indifference. This meant that for women, the art of flirtation and feigning indifference were viewed as essential survival skills that could guarantee success in life. These three volumes document the many ways in which nineteenth-century women were educated in this seemingly universal wisdom, but just as frequently managed to manipulate, subvert, and navigate their way through such proscribed norms to achieve their own desires. Presenting a wide range of documents from novels, memoirs, literary journals, newspapers, plays, poetry, songs, parlour games, and legal documents, this collection will illuminate a far more diverse set of options available to women in their quest for happiness, and a new understanding of the operations of courtship and flirtation, the "central" concerns of a nineteenth-century woman’s life. The volumes will be of interest to scholars of history, literature, gender and cultural studies, with an interest in the nineteenth-century.

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Diploma Thesis from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: Gut, University of Vienna (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistk), 30 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Based on a variety of social and cultural confinements regarding the depiction of certain parts of the female body in literature, 19th century British novelists had to concentrate on those bodily attributes of women which were considered proper and decent to be displayed in writing. Answering the social rules prohibiting the public exhibition of female passions and feelings, such as sexual arousal, love or wrath, authors turned to methods of substituting the direct reference to those very emotions, thereby employing the parts of the female body they could with a clear conscience depict in their interpretations. This method of illustrating the female body in connection with women’s emotional state is going to be discussed on the basis of Jane Austen’s novels Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Brontё’s Jane Eyre and the short novel Daisy Miller by Henry James. A prominent feature of 19th century literature, used to demonstrate the interdependency of mind and body, is illness. The body suffering from physical as well as mental diseases is frequently instrumentalized by novelists as a messenger delivering information about a person’s emotional condition. Additionally, 19th century authors tend to use illness as a starting point for character and plot changes as well as romantic relationships between men and women, and refer to a character’s sickness as his or her lawful punishment for improper conduct. One of the most important tools for novelists in revealing their characters’ thoughts and emotions is the female complexion. Frequently subject to blushing or turning pale, the female face functions as an apt communicator of a woman’s mind and heart. A blush can uncover a character’s romantic affections, embarrassment, guilty conscience, excitement or anger, and can be seen as an indicator of a woman’s awareness of incorrect conduct. Paleness often reflects a character’s shock or despair and is attributed to poor health. Amongst others, these factors, supported by a thorough introduction to the social, cultural and political backgrounds of the three concerned novelists, shall be discussed and interpreted in the course of this thesis.

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Book Short Summary:

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