The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-nineteenth-century England

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Taking as his point of departure the authors, the audience, and the texts of Victorian writings on sex in general and of Victorian pornography in particular, Steven Marcus offers a startling and revolutionary perspective on the underside of Victorian culture. The subjects dealt with in The Other Victorians are not only those to have been "shocking" in the Victorian period. The way these subjects were regarded--and the way our notions of the Victorians continue to change, as the efforts of contemporary scholarship restore them to their full historical dimensions--are matters today of some surprise and wonder.

Making use, for the first time, of the extensive collection of Victoriana at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research, Marcus first examines the writings of Dr. William Acton, who may be said to represent the "official views" of sexuality held by Victorian society, and of Henry Spencer Ashbee, the first and most important bibliographer-scholar of pornography. He then turns to the most significant work of its kind from the period, the eleven-volume anonymous autobiography My Secret Life. There follows an analysis of four pornographic Victorian novels--an analysis that throws an oblique but fascinating light on the classics of Victorian literature--and a review of the odd flood of Victorian publications devoted to flagellation. The book concludes with a chapter propounding a general theory of pornography as a sociological phenomenon.

With the publication of The Other Victorians, understanding of this period took a giant stride forward. Most of the writers and writings discussed by Marcus belong to Victorian sub-literature rather than to literature proper; in this way the work remains connected to a consideration of the exotic sub-literature. A brilliantly written book in its own right, this work transformed the study of the Victorian period as did no other.

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About the Author:

Steven Marcus is the author of Dickens: From Pickwick to Dombey and Freud and the Culture of Psychoanalysis and editor of The Life and Works of Sigmund Freud. His work has appeared in many periodicals, including Commentary, The New York Review of Books, Partisan Review, and The New Statesman.

 

Review:

Even more startling for most people, though, will be Steven Marcus's classic "The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England". First published in 1966, it will be reissued by Transaction in September with a new introduction by the author. This is not a book to read just because Foucault alluded to it in the first volume of "The History of Sexuality", or even because Marcus was doing cultural studies well before anybody was calling it that. All duly noted, of course. But "The Other Victorians" is fascinating in its own right -- a riveting look at how Victorian smut reconciled desire and anxiety in a vision of insatiable excess that Marcus calls "pornotopia."

- Scott McLemee, "Inside Higher Ed"

Even more startling for most people, though, will be Steven Marcus's classic "The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England." First published in 1966, it will be reissued by Transaction in September with a new introduction by the author. This is not a book to read just because Foucault alluded to it in the first volume of "The History of Sexuality," or even because Marcus was doing cultural studies well before anybody was calling it that. All duly noted, of course. But "The Other Victorians" is fascinating in its own right -- a riveting look at how Victorian smut reconciled desire and anxiety in a vision of insatiable excess that Marcus calls "pornotopia."

- Scott McLemee, "Inside Higher Ed"

Even more startling for most people, though, will be Steven Marcus's classic The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England. First published in 1966, it will be reissued by Transaction in September with a new introduction by the author. This is not a book to read just because Foucault alluded to it in the first volume of The History of Sexuality, or even because Marcus was doing cultural studies well before anybody was calling it that. All duly noted, of course. But The Other Victorians is fascinating in its own right -- a riveting look at how Victorian smut reconciled desire and anxiety in a vision of insatiable excess that Marcus calls -pornotopia.-

- Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780465053865: The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0465053866 ISBN 13:  9780465053865
Publisher: Basic Books, 1974
Hardcover

9780393302363: The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England

W W No..., 1985
Softcover

9780452004627: The Other Victorians

Plume, 1977
Softcover

9781122196819: The other Victorians: a study of sexuality and pornography in min-nineteenth century England

Weiden..., 1966
Hardcover

9780552080699: The Other Victorians

Corgi ..., 1969
Softcover

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Book Description Taylor & Francis Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Taking as his point of departure the authors, the audience, and the texts of Victorian writings on sex in general and of Victorian pornography in particular, Steven Marcus offers a startling and revolutionary perspective on the underside of Victorian culture. The subjects dealt with in The Other Victorians are not only those to have been "shocking" in the Victorian period. The way these subjects were regarded--and the way our notions of the Victorians continue to change, as the efforts of contemporary scholarship restore them to their full historical dimensions--are matters today of some surprise and wonder.Making use, for the first time, of the extensive collection of Victoriana at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research, Marcus first examines the writings of Dr. William Acton, who may be said to represent the "official views" of sexuality held by Victorian society, and of Henry Spencer Ashbee, the first and most important bibliographer-scholar of pornography. He then turns to the most significant work of its kind from the period, the eleven-volume anonymous autobiography My Secret Life. There follows an analysis of four pornographic Victorian novels--an analysis that throws an oblique but fascinating light on the classics of Victorian literature--and a review of the odd flood of Victorian publications devoted to flagellation. The book concludes with a chapter propounding a general theory of pornography as a sociological phenomenon.With the publication of The Other Victorians, understanding of this period took a giant stride forward. Most of the writers and writings discussed by Marcus belong to Victorian sub-literature rather than to literature proper; in this way the work remains connected to a consideration of the exotic sub-literature. A brilliantly written book in its own right, this work transformed the study of the Victorian period as did no other. Seller Inventory # AAV9781412808194

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