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Anna Krugovoy Silver examines the ways nineteenth-century British writers used physical states of the female body - hunger, appetite, fat and slenderness - in the creation of female characters. Silver argues that anorexia nervosa, first diagnosed in 1873, serves as a paradigm for the cultural ideal of middle-class womanhood in Victorian Britain. In addition, Silver relates these literary expressions to the representation of women's bodies in the conduct books, beauty manuals and other non-fiction prose of the period, contending that women 'performed' their gender and class alliances through the slender body. Silver discusses a wide range of writers including Charlotte Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Bram Stoker and Lewis Carroll to show that mainstream models of middle-class Victorian womanhood share important qualities with the beliefs or behaviours of the anorexic girl or woman.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521816021
ISBN-10: 0521816025
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 236
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 8-Aug-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Anna Krugovoy Silver

Anna Krugovoy Silver is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at Mercer University. She has published essays in Studies in English and Victorians Institute Journal.

Books By Author Anna Krugovoy Silver

Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body by Anna Krugovoy Silver

Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body

Paperback, March 2006
$52.16