Hatred and Civility: The Antisocial Life in Victorian England

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9780231130646: Hatred and Civility: The Antisocial Life in Victorian England

This lively, accessible account of historical and literary works explains why many Victorians nursed a hostile vision of man and society and how misanthropy - once a means of conveying integrity and justified disdain of society's excesses - turned immoral and quasi-criminal. Delivering a surprising new perspective on the past, Christopher Lane shows that the fanatics troubling us today share many qualities with our supposedly moral ancestors.

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From the Publisher:

This book explores the depths of loathing in Victorian fiction and society, highlighting numerous cultural contradictions. It shows that the fanatics and terrorists troubling us in the 21st century have many precursors in our supposedly moral ancestors.

From the Inside Flap:

"The invention of the idea of civility acknowledges the scope of hatred. What Lane has to tell us about the Victorians--our cartoon philanthropists--in this wonderfully cunning and lucid book is that hearing the voices of hatred in nineteenth-century literature is key to understanding the contentions and hedonisms, the pieties and principles of their society, which is so like our own. Hatred and Civility puts us more closely in touch with the wilder energies of a culture."--Adam Phillips, author of Darwin's Worms: On Life Stories and Death Stories

"In his brilliant new book, Christopher Lane examines representations of an intractably anticommunitarian hatred in Victorian literature. Going far beyond familiar accounts of complexities and duplicities in the ethical and sexual ideals of Victorian culture, Lane discovers in the works of great writers of the period--notably Dickens, George Eliot, and Browning--affects of rage and hate that exceed all narrative control. With impeccable scholarship and admirable clarity, he gives us an often harrowing portrait of these writers' fascination with drives that are irreducible to psychological explanations--drives of self-extinction and of motiveless rage at the happiness of others. This is a major work of cultural criticism."--Leo Bersani, author of The Culture of Redemption

"Christopher Lane's urbane and nuanced study of that most anomalous yet central figure--the good Victorian hater--restores to us the shadowy other of the age's much-vaunted ethic of sympathy. Hatred and Civility is a dramatic and timely advance in our understanding of Victorian sociability."--Nicholas Dames, Columbia University

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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This lively, accessible account of works by Edward Bulwer, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Robert Browning, and Joseph Conrad explains why many Victorians nursed a hostile vision of man and society and how misanthropy - once a means of conveying integrity and justified disdain of society s excesses - turned immoral and quasi-criminal. Delivering a surprising new perspective on the past, Christopher Lane shows that the fanatics troubling us today share many qualities with our supposedly moral ancestors. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780231130646

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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This lively, accessible account of works by Edward Bulwer, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Robert Browning, and Joseph Conrad explains why many Victorians nursed a hostile vision of man and society and how misanthropy - once a means of conveying integrity and justified disdain of society s excesses - turned immoral and quasi-criminal. Delivering a surprising new perspective on the past, Christopher Lane shows that the fanatics troubling us today share many qualities with our supposedly moral ancestors. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780231130646

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