Socialism, Sex, and the Culture of Aestheticism in Britain, 1880-1914
By (author) Ruth Livesey
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Socialism, Sex, and the Culture of Aestheticism in Britain, 1880-1914 by Ruth Livesey
Book DescriptionThis book brings to life the growth of the socialist movement among men and women artists and writers in late nineteenth-century Britain. For these campaigners, socialism was inseparable from a desire for a new beauty of life; beauty that also, for many, required them rejecting the sexual conventions of the Victorian era. From the early 1880s and well into the twentieth century, the efforts of these writers and activists existed in critical tension with other contemporary developments in literary culture. Livesey maps the ongoing dialogue between socialist writers like William Morris, decadent aesthetes such as Oscar Wilde and defining figures of early modernism including Virginia Woolf and Roger Fry. She concludes that socialist writers developed a distinct political aesthetic in which the love of beauty was to act as a force for revolutionary change. The book draws on archival research and extensive study of socialist periodicals, together with readings of works by writers including Morris, Wilde, Schreiner, George Bernard Shaw, Isabella Ford, Carpenter, Alfred Orage, Woolf and Fry. Livesey uncovers the lasting influence of socialist writers of the 1880s on the emergence of British literary modernism and by tracing the lives of neglected writers and activists such as Clementina Black and Dollie Radford, she provides a vivid evocation of an era in which revolution seemed imminent and the arts a vital route to that future.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780197263983
(240mm x 165mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 18-Oct-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Ruth Livesey
Writing the Stage Coach Nation, Hardback (September 2016)
Many Victorian novels take place not in the steam-powered railway present of that era, but in the recent past: a world moving by stage and mail coach. Ruth Livesey explores the historical consciousness of such works by Dickens, Bronte, Eliot, and Hardy, and explains how they convey an idea of a national belonging through a sense of local place.
American Experiment and the Idea of Democracy in British Culture, 1776-1914, Hardback (October 2013)» View all books by Ruth Livesey
Bringing together political theorists, historians and literary scholars, this volume explores the idea of American democracy in nineteenth-century Britain and traces an intellectual history of Anglo-American relations.
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