- Taschenbuch: 288 Seiten
- Verlag: Faber & Faber; Auflage: Main. (4. November 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0571206638
- ISBN-13: 978-0571206636
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,5 x 2 x 20 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 129.915 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Inventing the Victorians (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 4. November 2002
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Matthew Sweet's Inventing the Victorians sets out to rescue the Victorians from their prudish and stuffy reputation. A century after Queen Victoria's death there is a scramble to re-evaluate and explode many of the myths attached to Victorian Britain which started with Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians (1913) and have been cultivated ever since by assorted Freudian analysts, feminists, strait-laced historians, political spin-doctors (remember Margaret Thatcher's "Victorian values") and lazy media types. Through a 13-chapter tour of the wilder side of 19th-century Britain--theatrical spectacle, contact ads, WT Stead's investigative journalism, opium dens, etiquette and cookery books, freak shows, boys' adventure stories and the amusing tale of what Prince Albert kept in his pants--Sweet argues the case for the Victorians being more sexually liberated, more obsessed with sensational events and public lives and for being greater consumers of narcotics, pornography and the bizarre than they have ever been given credit. They were, in other words, more like us than we realise. What a depressing thought. This book is a fun read: it is clever, informative and provocative, although too often the journalist inside the author leaps from a suggestive idea to a monstrous exaggeration. Matthew Sweet is not of course the first to unveil the Victorians. Some readers may wonder whether yet another account is really required of the Rugeley murders, the "Elephant Man", Walter's Secret Life, and the Victorian dependence on opium. And as for Prince Albert--his nether regions have long been the subject of scholarly discussion-lists on North American Victorian Studies Web sites. But the time is right to relocate the Victorians and Sweet's book does just that. --Miles Taylor -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
'This is a profoundly stimulating and entertaining book'. D. J. Taylor, Sunday Times; 'Matthew Sweet has opened a blast of fresh air into the hothouse of Victorian studies. His book is packed with weird and wonderful information'. Spectator; 'He tells his revisionist version exceedingly well, describing a lurid thrill-seeking populace avid for sensation. Colourful characters parade through chapters that demonstrate how innovative, fast-paced, diverse and radical the era was. Sweet has turned his scholarly research through the detritus of high and low 19th-century culture into a page-turning piece of pop-culture history... A darned good read, and no mistake,' Big IssueAlle Produktbeschreibungen
Aber auch jenseits des Themas Sex spürt Sweet interessantes auf. Es ist das erste Zeitalter mit Massenmedien, die der heutigen Presse vergleichbar sind. Drogen und andere Genussmittel spielen eine große Rolle. Es bildet sich eine Unterhaltungskultur mit Spektakeln und Sensationen. Und auch das Verbrechen, insbesondere in der Form des berühmten Serienmörders, prägt die Wahrnehmung der Zeit. Und auch über gutes Benehmen, über das Verhältnis von Mann und Frau und die romantische Liebe gibt es viel zu erzählen.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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See the following examples. Many believe today that the Victorians were so prudish that they covered the legs of a piano with clothe. Matthew Sweet, showing a contemporary illustration of a piano with uncovered legs, gives us a more reasonable explanation about the popular myth of the covered piano legs. In other places of his book, Sweet shows substantial amount of evidences about the Victorian's attitudes about sex, which are ironically more liberated than those of the Bloomsbury set who ridiculed the preceding generations.
Many popular ideas about the 19th century England are challenged -- like our ideas about thier male-dominated family -- and Matthew Sweet successfully debunks them. Not that the book is preachy or didactic. Far from it. The book is always readable and never fails to be interesting with the intriguing historical anecdotes about the first junk mail (coming from a dentist), ancestors of modern cinema, craze about celebrity, and sensationalism of tabroids, all of which we inherited from the Victorians.
For all the readable sentences and the notes the book provides, you may not like some parts of 'Inventing the Victorains.' I'm not talking about the content, but the style of composing the book. Each chapter begins with modern topics as introductory part in a bit far-fetched way. To tell the Victorians' fascination about the visual arts, Matthew Sweet begins with his own episodes about the 2000 Cannes Film Festival where he witnessed some new techiniques. Even Monica Lewinsky's promotional tour in England (where the author met her at a bookshop) is used to introduce one chapter. Do we need that, even if he made a point putting these two things -- old and new -- side by side? It depends.
And the topics dealt here are many, too many, you might say. Many names appear fleetingly, but in many cases I am afraid you (and I) never heard of them before. To describe the cinematic innovation, he writes "cinemascope, 3-D, Smell-o-Vision, 'Emergo' ... and 'Percepto'" before citing the name of 'The Blair Witch Project' and Marchant/Ivory films. And they are all in one chapter. If you don't know director William Castle and his films, you don't know what the 'Emergo' vision is like. Well, just a quibble.
Fortunately, however, you just can just skip over these minor things. Actually, most part of the book is both erudite and entertaining, feat few people can achieve. Episodes quoted here are often about interior decoration, cooking, sex scandals, media circus, porno, and even serial killers, topics we all are familiar to. Recommended to anyone who is interested in this era.