The body economic : life, death, and sensation in political economy and the Victorian novel /

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Main Author: Gallagher, Catherine.
Format: Book
Published:Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2006.
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A salient addition to the growing collection of interdisciplinary criticism on the period, Gallagher's most recent contribution to Victorian studies maps the common ground between political economy and the literary marketplace. By locating literary production within the realm of political economy, Gallagher (Univ. of California, Berkeley) gauges the influence of the market, as understood by major economic theorists (Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham) on the anxieties that preoccupy Victorian novels and novelists. Gallagher's approach is decidedly new historicist, as exhibited by the early chapters in which she explores the interstitial relationship between the chief economic and literary theories of the 19th century. The historical groundwork arranged in these exhaustively researched chapters provides Gallagher with a methodological touchstone for her cogent and refreshing readings of the economic and literary interfaces in the novels of Charles Dickens (Hard Times and Our Mutual Friend) and George Eliot (Daniel Deronda and Scenes of Clerical Life). And though Gallagher's discussion of "bioeconomics" and "somaeconomics" services her readings of Dickens and Eliot, her allusions to other key Victorian thinkers--including Benjamin Disraeli, Charles Darwin, and George Henry Lewes--underscore the interdisciplinary stakes of her approach. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. S. Mahato University of Puget Sound

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