The Bourgeois Experience: Education of the Senses v. 1

The Bourgeois Experience: Education of the Senses v. 1 : Victoria to Freud

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With this book, Peter Gay begins a project of enormous scope and imagination: a multi-volume study of the European and American middle classes from the 1820s to the outbreak of World War I. he Bourgeois Experience, which will eventually comprise at least five volumes, explores the much-neglected but all-important role that human drives and emotions played in the shaping of Victorian culture. In Education of the Senses Gay re-examines the sexual behavior and attitudes of the Victorians, overturning many ttpersistent myths about the era and challenging, in particular, the notion that bourgeois women could not enjoy sexuality. Immense in scope yet finely detailed, this book abounds in fascinating glimpses of individual lives. A provocative and absorbing study, Education of the Senses marks an auspicious beginning to a project that promises to change the way we view the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • halftones
  • 0195037286
  • 9780195037289

Review Text

Gay's monumental five-volume study of the European and American middle classes between 1820 and 1914 is now available in modestly priced paperbacks. Few historians have the erudition necessary to undertake such a huge survey as this but Professor Gay is conspicuously one of them. The result is both a panorama and an intimate exploration of the psyche of three generations of the professional and mercantile people of the West. In the first of his volumes he examines 19th-century attitudes towards sexuality. Here the award-winning biographer of Freud brings valuable psychoanalytic insights to the mass of contemporary sources which he has sifted and he reveals that the Victorians were not quite as repressed as we like to think. In the succeeding volume Gay turns his attention to ideal and real notions of love among the bourgeoisie. Here again he shows that our ancestors were not so different from us in some respects, despite the fact that contemporary social values conditioned them to different expectations and experiences in others. A fascinating insight into the mind of the age. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

"Gay's book is controversial but brilliant (as are most of his books). It is well-written and thoroughly researched and should be an excellent required reading for my upper division cultural history of Europe course. My students should have endless fun arguing with Professor Gay and his hero, Sigmund Freud."--Richard Camp, California State University"[The first volume of] what promises to be one of the major historical enterprises of the decade."--The New York Review of Books"Gay has written a first-rate synthesis of one of the dimensions most central to the so-called 'bourgeois experience, ' sexuality and sexual behavior."--Gerald Michael Schnabel, Bemidji State University"Legitimize[s] sexuality itself as a subject of serious historical research...a wonderful and literate book."--Journal of Modern History"Magisterial...witty and ingenious....Everything about this book is excellent."--Review of Psychoanalytic Booksshow more

Rating details

89 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 27% (24)
4 40% (36)
3 19% (17)
2 10% (9)
1 3% (3)
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