By Laurence Lerner
What's the distinction among private and non-private feeling, and the way a ways will we deduce previous emotions from the phrases which were left us? Why do baby deaths determine so usually and so prominently within the literature of the 19th century, and the way used to be the topic of the loss of life of a kid used to elicit such poignant responses within the readers of that period? during this interesting new booklet, Laurence Lerner vividly contrasts the contempt with which 20th- century feedback so usually dismisses such works as mere sentimentality with the passion and tears of nineteenth-century contemporaries.Drawing examples from either actual and literary deaths, Lerner delves into the writings of famous authors akin to Dickens, Coleridge, Shelley, Flaubert, Mann, Huxley, and Hesse, in addition to lesser recognized writers like Felicia Hemans and Lydia Sigourney. within the strategy, he synthesizes clean rules concerning the thorny matters of sentimentality, aesthetic judgment, and the functionality of faith in literature.Lerner's forthright and evocative prose variety is agreeable interpreting, and he excels in teasing out the ethical implications and the psychosocial entanglements of his selected narrative and lyrical texts. this can be a ebook that may remove darkness from a tremendous element of the historical past of personal lifestyles. it's going to have large software for these attracted to the heritage, sociology, and literature of the 19th century.
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Additional resources for Angels and absences: child deaths in the nineteenth century
The Prince's treatment of some of his family had been notoriously callous, and, having taken little notice of Charlotte for much of her life, he had quarreled with her for her refusal to accept the arranged match with the Prince of Orange. So what are we to think of his apoplexy? It is hard to believe that it was a burst of true fatherly feeling and unkind to assume that it was calculated hypocrisy. Should we see it as the expression of a histrionic and shallow character, or an example of the inherent difficulty of relating behaviour to emotion?
How dark and mysterious are the ways of Providence," wrote a correspondent from Exeter. ). A number of other correspondents were quite confident that they knew why. " To this he added profanation of the Sabbath, the licensing of public houses that were applied to purposes which cannot be named, and the lottery: the death of the unfortunate Princess being a "fearful admonition" from God about these national vices. A similar but more generalized indignation appears in a paragraph in the London Chronicle: Arrogant and self-conceited criticism delights to assign imaginary causes for these unexpected and extraordinary events; but it usually overlooks the great cause of all, the Will of the ALMIGHTY.
In The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844> he describes suffering and death through an accumulation of factual detail: the final chapter, on the workings of the New Poor Law of 1834, describes the death of a man dismissed from the workhouse, of a patient "tied fast with cords passed over the covering and under the bedstead, to save the nurses the trouble of sitting up at night," and concludes: As in life, so in death. The poor are dumped into the earth like infected cattle. 4 Page 13 The Reverend John Skinner, writing in the first third of the nineteenth century, did not share the distress of Shaftesbury or the indignation of Engels: But happy is it that people in the lower ranks of life are not possesed of the same sensibility as their superiors.