The Whore's Story: Women, Pornography, and the British Novel, 1684-1830

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Oxford University Press, Jun 8, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 304 pages
This fresh and persuasively argued book examines the origins of pornography in Britain and presents a comprehensive overview of women's role in the evolution of obscene fiction. Carefully monitoring the complex interconnections between three related debates--that over the masquerade, that over the novel, and that over prostitution--Mudge contextualizes the growing literary need to separate good fiction from bad and argues that that process was of crucial importance to the emergence of a new, middle-class state. Looking closely at sermons, medical manuals, periodical essays, and political tracts as well as poetry, novels, and literary criticism, The Whore's Story tracks the shifting politics of pleasure in eighteenth-century Britain and charts the rise of modern, pornographic sensibilities.

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THE WHORE'S STORY: Women, Pornography, and the British Novel, 1684-1830

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A reassertion of the female ingenuity that enabled market-minded English literary fiction and its unfettered alternate to flourish.Providing context via today's struggles over pornography (a term ... Read full review


metffence ofi the Modern State
The Feminization of the Novel
Passionate Women and Unruly Novels
Venus in the Marketplace
Virgins Whores and Devils
Conclusion The Whores Story

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Page 113 - AWAKE, my St. John ! leave all meaner things To low ambition, and the pride of kings. Let us (since life can little more supply Than just to look about us, and to die,) Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man ; A mighty maze ! but not without a plan ; A wild, where weeds and flow'rs promiscuous shoot; Or garden, tempting with forbidden fruit. Together let us beat this ample field, Try what the open, what the covert yield...
Page 96 - During the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neighbours, our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colors of imagination.
Page 102 - For a multitude of causes, unknown to former times, are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor. The most effective of these causes are the great national events which are daily taking place, and the increasing accumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity of their occupations produces a craving for extraordinary incident, which the rapid communication of intelligence...
Page 96 - Lyrical Ballads ;" in which it was agreed, that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic ; yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
Page 103 - To these qualities he has added a disposition to be affected more than other men by absent things as if they were present; an ability of conjuring up in himself passions, which are indeed far from being the same as those produced by real events...
Page 124 - The Novel is a picture of real life and manners, and of the times in which it is written. The Romance in lofty and elevated language, describes what never happened nor is likely to happen.
Page 114 - The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar; Eye Nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise ; Laugh where we must, be candid where we can, But vindicate the ways of God to man.
Page 159 - Curll for wrongfully ascribing to him the aforesaid poems : he excused himself by declaring, that one of his authors (Mr. Oldmixon by name) gave the copies to the press, and wrote the preface. Upon this Mr. Pope, being to all appearance reconciled, very civilly drank a glass of sack to Mr. Curll, which he as civilly pledged...
Page 102 - Milton, are driven into neglect by frantic novels, sickly and stupid German Tragedies, and deluges of idle and extravagant stories in verse.
Page 66 - A Dictionary for the explanation of hard words, Sherlock upon Death. The fifteen Comforts of Matrimony.

About the author (2000)

Bradford K. Mudge is Associate Professor of English at the University of Colorado. His Sara Coleridge: A Victoria Daughter won the 1990 Choice Outstanding Book Award.

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