Names and Stories

Names and Stories : Emilia Dilke and Victorian Culture

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Names and Stories: Emilia Dilke and Victorian Culture employs an individual life lived under many names to investigate nineteenth-century British culture while also embodying a critical and historical engagement with theoretical questions. The book examines the histories of gender, knowledge, families, bodies, art, and political thought in Victorian Britain, contributing to both literary studies and cross-disciplinary feminist scholarship. By exploring key facets of British cultural and political history in the 1800s, this new work rigorously addresses wider themes of narrative, figuration, and historical writing and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 380 pages
  • 160.5 x 238.8 x 34.5mm | 743.9g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195122755
  • 9780195122756

Review quote

Names and Stories is a fruitful alliance of detailed and generous primary-source research with sophisticated post-modern readings of text; of traditional and 'literary turn' history; and of biography and cultural history. Part of the new school of feminist life-story writing which refuses a continuous, unified recital of its subject, Israel's book on Emilia Dilke (in all her incarnations) is nonetheless wonderfully thorough at retrieving the thousands of texts (including nearly a dozen novels, beginning with Middlemarch) woven around her life. I read it with fascination. * Ellen Ross, Professor of History and Women's Studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey * This is a remarkable work of interdisciplinary scholarship. By exploring narrative representations of the life of the extraordinary Victorian Emilia Dilke, Professor Israel upsets what is often the most conservative form of history writing-biography. This is 'biographical' writing in a truly postmodern key. The author uses Dilke as a complex site for addressing important questions about gender, class, politics, social performance, the body, erotic desire, and how we make historical sense of such things. Kali Israel's study is controversial in the best sense, inviting readers to rethink methods of interpretation and understanding. * James Epstein, Professor of History, Vanderbilt University * The book is not merely biographical, but is rich in literary criticism, aesthetic history, and cultural inquiry as it investigates the full spectrum of nineteenth-century British thought and custom. * Michigan Alumnus Magazine * Kali Israel's Names and Stories contributes importantly to the nascent genre of historiographic biography....[Here], Dilke's life is treated for the first time as part of a sustained, historically aware, and critically self-conscious process of representation....Israel accomplishes her stated aims with clarity and often brilliance, using her study of Dilke's life to embark on carefully mapped excursions into various topics related to Victorian spiritual, cultural, and political life. * Victorian Studies *show more

About Kali Israel

Kali Israel was educated at Lewis and Clark College and Rutgers University. She is Associate Professor of History at the University of more

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