Child Murder and British Culture, 1720 1900

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November 2005



Josephine McDonagh examines the concept of child murder in British culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by analyzing texts drawn from economics, philosophy, law, and medicine, as well as literature. McDonagh highlights the ways in which child murder echoes and reverberates in a variety of cultural debates and social practices. She traces a trajectory from Swift's A Modest Proposal through the debates on the New Woman at the turn of the twentieth century by way of Burke, Wordsworth, Wollstonecraft, George Eliot, George Egerton, and Thomas Hardy, among others.


List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Note on references; List of abbreviations; Introduction: plots and protagonists; 1. Child murder and commercial society in the early eighteenth century; 2. 'A squeeze in the neck for bastards': the uncivilised spectacle of child-killing in the 1770s and 1780s; 3. 1789/1803: Martha Ray, the mob, and Malthus's Mistress of the Feast; 4. 'Bright and countless everywhere': the New Poor Law and the politics of prolific reproduction in 1839; 5. 'A nation of infanticides': child murder and the national forgetting in Adam Bede; 6. Wragg's daughters: child murder towards the fin de siecle; 7. English babies and Irish changelings; Appendix: on the identity of 'Marcus'; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


Josephine McDonagh is Reader in Romantic and Victorian Culture in the School of English and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of De Quincey's Disciplines (1994) and George Eliot (1997) and co-editor of Transactions and Encounters: Science and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2001).


'... in-depth study.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'There is much here for the literary scholar and the historian, as the book situates an emotive theme within a wide-ranging cultural framework.' BARS Bulletin
EAN: 9780521781930
ISBN: 0521781930
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2005
Seitenanzahl: 296 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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