Victorian Afterlives: The Shaping of Influence in Nineteenth-century Literature

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Oxford University Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 372 pages
"Questions of survival were much discussed during the nineteenth century, in terms that ranged from personal immortality to the more dispersed and unpredictable after-effects of particular words and deeds. Some of these questions emerged in the intellectual and stylistic preoccupations of individual writers. Others contributed towards the cultural atmosphere these writers shared, in which shifting and overlapping ideas of 'influence' (from the seductive touch of the mesmerist to the contagious breath of the poor) became central to attempts to work out how far-reaching were the effects which people had on one another and themselves." "Victorian Afterlives sets out to recover this atmosphere, and to explain why its pressures are still being exercised on and in our own ways of thinking. Moving freely between different fields of enquiry (including literary criticism, philosophy, and the history of science), and written in a lively and accessible style, this major new study redraws the map of nineteenth-century culture to show what the Victorians made of one another, and what they might help us make of ourselves."--BOOK JACKET.

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Contents

Forms of Survival
9
PERSONS AND POEMS
18
INFLUENCE AND ANXIETY
20
MULTIVERSES
54
A DISTANT RINGING HUM
79
Vo1ces in the Air
85
ONE VAST LIBRARY
96
THE MORAL ATMOSPHERE
117
THE RETURN OF THE MIND UPON ITSELF
199
THE GROWTH OF SONG
232
A VITAL SYMPATHY
259
Edward FitzGerald Under the Influnce
270
THE CONSTANT APPEAL OF TIME
278
A CERTAIN CONSCIOUSNESS
301
TOGETHER
319
Afterword
342

SNATCHES OF OLD TUNES
145
HOPE IN DUST
169
Tennysons Sympathy
182

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About the author (2004)

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst is a Lecturer in English at Oxford University and Fellow of Magdalen College.

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