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The Science of Starving in Victorian Literature, Medicine and Political Economy

Mangham, A. (2020) The Science of Starving in Victorian Literature, Medicine and Political Economy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780198850038 (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

The Science of Starving is a reassessment of the languages and methodologies used, throughout the nineteenth century, for discussing extreme hunger in Britain. Set against the providentialism of conservative political economy, this study uncovers an emerging, dynamic way of describing literal starvation in medicine and physiology. No longer seen as a divine punishment for individual failings, starvation became, in the human sciences, a pathology whose horrific symptoms registered failings of state and statute. Providing new and historically-rich readings of the works of Charles Kingsley, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Charles Dickens, this work suggests that the realism we have come to associate with Victorian social problem fiction learned a vast amount from the empirical, materialist objectives of the medical sciences and that, within the mechanics of these intersections, we find important re-examinations of how we might think about this ongoing humanitarian issue.

Item Type:Book
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:89824
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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