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The Spectacle of Intimacy : A Public Life for the Victorian Family - Karen Chase

The Spectacle of Intimacy

A Public Life for the Victorian Family

Hardcover

Published: 25th June 2000
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Love of home life, the intimate moments a family peacefully enjoyed in seclusion, had long been considered a hallmark of English character even before the Victorian era. But the Victorians attached unprecedented importance to domesticity, romanticizing the family in every medium from novels to government reports, to the point where actual families felt anxious and the public developed a fierce appetite for scandal. Here Karen Chase and Michael Levenson explore how intimacy became a spectacle and how this paradox energized Victorian culture between 1835 and 1865. They tell a story of a society continually perfecting the forms of private pleasure and yet forever finding its secrets exposed to view. The friction between the two conditions sparks insightful discussions of authority and sentiment, empire and middle-class politics.

The book recovers neglected episodes of this mid-century drama: the adultery trial of Caroline Norton and the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne; the Bedchamber Crisis of the young Queen Victoria; the Bloomer craze of the 1850s; and Robert Kerr's influential treatise, celebrating the ideal of the English Gentleman's House. The literary representation of household life--in Dickens, Tennyson, Ellis, and Oliphant, among others--is placed in relation to such public spectacles as the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill of 1848, the controversy over divorce in the years 1854-1857, and the triumphant return of Florence Nightingale from the Crimea. These colorful incidents create a telling new portrait of Victorian family life, one that demands a fundamental rethinking of the relation between public and private spheres.

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2000 "In readings that diplomatically maintain alliances among literature, politics, the law and social history, Chase and Levenson disclose a complex economy of public and private that transversed Victorian life. No separate spheres here; this is first-rate interdisciplinary scholarship."--Sarah Churchwell, Times Literary Supplement

Prefacp. ix
Introductionp. 1
History and Doctrinep. 11
Freedom from Compelled Profession of Belief, Adverse Targeting, and Discriminationp. 35
Conscientious Objection to Military Servicep. 49
Religious Exemptions and Drug Usep. 68
Free Exercise Objections to Educational Requirementsp. 86
Sincerityp. 109
Saying What Counts as Religiousp. 124
Controlled Environments: Military and Prison Lifep. 157
Indirect Impingements: Unemployment Compensationp. 172
Sunday Closing Laws and Sabbatarian Business Ownersp. 184
Government Development of Sacred Propertyp. 192
Difficult Determinations: Burden and Government Interestp. 201
Land Development and Regulationp. 233
Confidential Communications with Clergyp. 246
Settling Disputes over Church Propertyp. 261
Wrongs and Rights of Religious Association: The Limits of Tort Liability for Religious Groups and Their Leadersp. 290
Employment Relations: Ordinary Discrimination and Accommodationp. 326
Employment Relations: Harassmentp. 359
Rights of Religious Associations: Selectivityp. 377
Medical Proceduresp. 396
Child Custodyp. 421
Conclusion (and Introduction)p. 439
Indexp. 445
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691006680
ISBN-10: 0691006687
Series: Literature in History (Hardcover)
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 25th June 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.41  x 2.26
Weight (kg): 0.54