December 21, 2018 Forthcoming
Reference - 212 Pages
ISBN 9781138359567 - CAT# K397106
Series: Perspectives on the Non-Human in Literature and Culture
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Victorians and Their Animals: Beast on a Leash investigates the notion that British Victorians did see themselves as a naturally dominant species over other humans and over animals. They conscientiously, hegemonically were determined to rule those beneath them and the animal within themselves, albeit with varying degrees of success and failure. The articles in this collection apply posthuman and other theories, including queer, postcolonialism, deconstruction, and Marxism, in their exploration of Victorian attitudes toward animals. They study the biopolitical relationships between human and nonhuman animals in several key Victorian literary works. Some of this book’s chapters deal with animal ethics and moral aesthetics. Also being studied is the representation of animals in several Victorian novels as narrative devices to signify class status and gender dynamics, either to iterate socially acceptable mores, to satirize hypocrisy or breach of behavior or to voice social protest. All of the chapters analyze the interdependence of people and animals during the nineteenth century.
List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: "Beast on a Leash"
1 "Gaskell’s Activism and Animal Agency"
2 "Old and New Beef: Caring for Animals in Household Words"
3 "George Eliot’s Use of Horses in Measuring the Moral Maturity of Characters in Her Novels"
CONSTANCE M. FULMER
4 "Pigs in Great Expectations: Class, Dehumanization, and Marxist Animal Studies"
5 "Ants, Insects, and Automatons: Classifying Hardy’s Creatures in The Return of the Native"
6 "It’s Raining Cats and Dogs in George Eliot’s Novels"
7 "A Fine Kettle of Fish: Cultural (and Culinary) Preservation in Anglo-Jewish Ghetto Stories"
8 "Gendered Metamorphoses in Richard Marsh’s The Beetle and the Natural History Museum"
9 "The ‘Animality’ of Speech and Translation in The Jungle Books"
Notes on Contributors
As expected, this collection validates a concern for the inherent value of animals. But the additional inclusion of leashing the beast within ourselves in light of contradictory social impulses adds an interesting and necessary perspective to a collection on Victorian human/nonhuman relationships. -- Dr. Randi Pahlau, Malone University
As people today grapple with issues like their own humanity, their responsibility for the planet, their relationships to other species along with various kinds of reciprocity, how humans have considered these relations in the past is becoming more relevant – and in fact, more urgent to think deeply about. As Ayres explains, the conflicted and conflicting Victorian ideas about animals are valuable as 21st century people consider our fraught relations with the planet today. – Heather Fitzsimmons Frey, York University, Canada