In this wide-ranging study, Josephine McDonagh examines the idea of child murder in British culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Analysing texts drawn from economics, philosophy, law, medicine as well as from literature, McDonagh highlights the manifold ways in which child murder echoes and reverberates in a variety of cultural debates and social practices. She places literary works within social, political and cultural contexts, including debates on luxury, penal reform campaigns, slavery, the treatment of the poor, and birth control. She traces a trajectory from Swift's A Modest Proposal through to the debates on the New Woman at the turn of the twentieth century by way of Burke, Wordsworth, Wollstonecraft, George Eliot, George Egerton, and Thomas Hardy, among others. McDonagh demonstrates the haunting persistence of the notion of child murder within British culture in a volume that will be of interest to cultural and literary scholars alike.
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(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Josephine McDonagh
Josephine McDonagh is Reader in Romantic and Victorian Culture in the School of English and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of De Quincey's Disciplines (1994) and George Eliot (1997) and co-editor of Transactions and Encounters: Science and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2001).