Victorian Vulgarity: Taste in Verbal and Visual Culture

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Susan David Bernstein, Elsie Browning Michie
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009 - History - 259 pages
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In Victorian England, vulgarity, first used to define language use and class position, became implicated in behavior, material possessions, sexuality, and race. Victorian Vulgarity explores vulgarity's troubled history through dictionaries and grammars; essays, journalism and visual art; and fiction by Dickens, Eliot, Gissing, and Trollope. Neither dismissing nor reveling in vulgarity's myriad temptations, the contributors invite readers to consider the concept's implications for today's writers and artists.
  

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Contents

Introduction Varieties of Vulgarity
1
Social Mobility MiddleClass Diction
17
On Making a Spectacle of Oneself in Pickwick
35
WorkingClass Politics in London
55
Vulgar Christianity
71
George Gissing and
85
Too Common Readers at the British Museum
101
Jewish Materialism and Spiritual
119
Anthony Trollopes
139
Vulgarity Stupidity and Worldliness in Middlemarch
169
Vulgarity in The Picture
185
James Tissots Coloured Photographs of Vulgar Society
201
Imperial Reversals
223
Afterword How Victorian Was Vulgarity?
241
Index
253
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Bernstein teaches literature and women's studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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