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Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Goldhill's richly textured, skillfully argued, and improbably erudite journey through France, Germany, and Great Britain in the Victorian period will rightfully place him at the forefront of the burgeoning field of reception studies. Examining the varied, often wildly different influences of Greece and Rome in art, music, and fiction, with a glance at historiography, he situates the study of the classics in the political, social, intellectual, and religious currents of the time, with often surprising results. Whether revisiting opera performances, art exhibitions, or popular cultural icons such as Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii, as well as the uses to which they were put in the hallowed halls of academe and seats of political power, this book is certain to open new ways of understanding how we study and evaluate the manifold meanings of the past."--Froma Zeitlin, Princeton University

"The book is wonderfully written with lots of verve and lucidity, and it dives sensitively into a rich pool of archival material with a good deal of erudition."--James I. Porter, University of California, Irvine

"In this brilliant and wide-ranging book, Goldhill explores the cultural politics of classical reception from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective. He is a voracious reader with a wonderful eye for detail, moving across various literary genres and media--including music and the visual arts--to illuminate popular discourses and scholarly polemics surrounding classics in the nineteenth century. This is a dynamic engagement with Victorian ideas about classical antiquity, far from antiquarian in its appeal."--Yopie Prins, University of Michigan

Review:

"Goldhill analyzes this remarkable genre in relation to four linked contexts: the religious battle for hearts and minds; the construction of a nationalist history and a national identity; education and the place of scholarship in understanding the past; and, finally, politics." --Jane Thomas, Times Higher Education Supplement

Synopsis:

"Goldhill's richly textured, skillfully argued, and improbably erudite journey through France, Germany, and Great Britain in the Victorian period will rightfully place him at the forefront of the burgeoning field of reception studies. Examining the varied, often wildly different influences of Greece and Rome in art, music, and fiction, with a glance at historiography, he situates the study of the classics in the political, social, intellectual, and religious currents of the time, with often surprising results. Whether revisiting opera performances, art exhibitions, or popular cultural icons such as Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii, as well as the uses to which they were put in the hallowed halls of academe and seats of political power, this book is certain to open new ways of understanding how we study and evaluate the manifold meanings of the past."--Froma Zeitlin, Princeton University

"The book is wonderfully written with lots of verve and lucidity, and it dives sensitively into a rich pool of archival material with a good deal of erudition."--James I. Porter, University of California, Irvine

"In this brilliant and wide-ranging book, Goldhill explores the cultural politics of classical reception from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective. He is a voracious reader with a wonderful eye for detail, moving across various literary genres and media--including music and the visual arts--to illuminate popular discourses and scholarly polemics surrounding classics in the nineteenth century. This is a dynamic engagement with Victorian ideas about classical antiquity, far from antiquarian in its appeal."--Yopie Prins, University of Michigan

Synopsis:

How did the Victorians engage with the ancient world? Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity is a brilliant exploration of how the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome influenced Victorian culture. Through Victorian art, opera, and novels, Simon Goldhill examines how sexuality and desire, the politics of culture, and the role of religion in society were considered and debated through the Victorian obsession with antiquity.

Looking at Victorian art, Goldhill demonstrates how desire and sexuality, particularly anxieties about male desire, were represented and communicated through classical imagery. Probing into operas of the period, Goldhill addresses ideas of citizenship, nationalism, and cultural politics. And through fiction--specifically nineteenth-century novels about the Roman Empire--he discusses religion and the fierce battles over the church as Christianity began to lose dominance over the progressive stance of Victorian science and investigation. Rediscovering some great forgotten works and reframing some more familiar ones, the book offers extraordinary insights into how the Victorian sense of antiquity and our sense of the Victorians came into being.

With a wide range of examples and stories, Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity demonstrates how interest in the classical past shaped nineteenth-century self-expression, giving antiquity a unique place in Victorian culture.

About the Author

Simon Goldhill is professor of Greek literature and culture and fellow and director of Studies in Classics at King's College, University of Cambridge. His many books include "Love, Sex, and Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives".

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691149844
Subtitle:
Art, Opera, Fiction, and the Proclamation of Modernity
Author:
Goldhill, Simon
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Literature: Primary Works and Letters
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
British literature.
Copyright:
Series:
Martin Classical Lectures
Publication Date:
20110807
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Illustrations:
16 color illus. 32 halftones.
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » History » Romanticism
Business » General
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General

Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$55.50 In Stock
Product details 360 pages Princeton Univ Pr - English 9780691149844 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Goldhill analyzes this remarkable genre in relation to four linked contexts: the religious battle for hearts and minds; the construction of a nationalist history and a national identity; education and the place of scholarship in understanding the past; and, finally, politics." --
"Synopsis" by , "Goldhill's richly textured, skillfully argued, and improbably erudite journey through France, Germany, and Great Britain in the Victorian period will rightfully place him at the forefront of the burgeoning field of reception studies. Examining the varied, often wildly different influences of Greece and Rome in art, music, and fiction, with a glance at historiography, he situates the study of the classics in the political, social, intellectual, and religious currents of the time, with often surprising results. Whether revisiting opera performances, art exhibitions, or popular cultural icons such as Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii, as well as the uses to which they were put in the hallowed halls of academe and seats of political power, this book is certain to open new ways of understanding how we study and evaluate the manifold meanings of the past."--Froma Zeitlin, Princeton University

"The book is wonderfully written with lots of verve and lucidity, and it dives sensitively into a rich pool of archival material with a good deal of erudition."--James I. Porter, University of California, Irvine

"In this brilliant and wide-ranging book, Goldhill explores the cultural politics of classical reception from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective. He is a voracious reader with a wonderful eye for detail, moving across various literary genres and media--including music and the visual arts--to illuminate popular discourses and scholarly polemics surrounding classics in the nineteenth century. This is a dynamic engagement with Victorian ideas about classical antiquity, far from antiquarian in its appeal."--Yopie Prins, University of Michigan

"Synopsis" by , How did the Victorians engage with the ancient world? Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity is a brilliant exploration of how the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome influenced Victorian culture. Through Victorian art, opera, and novels, Simon Goldhill examines how sexuality and desire, the politics of culture, and the role of religion in society were considered and debated through the Victorian obsession with antiquity.

Looking at Victorian art, Goldhill demonstrates how desire and sexuality, particularly anxieties about male desire, were represented and communicated through classical imagery. Probing into operas of the period, Goldhill addresses ideas of citizenship, nationalism, and cultural politics. And through fiction--specifically nineteenth-century novels about the Roman Empire--he discusses religion and the fierce battles over the church as Christianity began to lose dominance over the progressive stance of Victorian science and investigation. Rediscovering some great forgotten works and reframing some more familiar ones, the book offers extraordinary insights into how the Victorian sense of antiquity and our sense of the Victorians came into being.

With a wide range of examples and stories, Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity demonstrates how interest in the classical past shaped nineteenth-century self-expression, giving antiquity a unique place in Victorian culture.

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