New PDF release: High Victorian Culture

By David Morse (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230378064

ISBN-13: 9780230378063

ISBN-10: 1349388726

ISBN-13: 9781349388721

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The Divorce Law of 1857 was passed immediately before Mill published The Subjection of Women in 1869, yet Mill does not comment on the highly restrictive class nature of this legislation, and indeed, considering that marriage is so much at the centre of his argument, he has surprisingly little to say about divorce and even pointedly remarks: 'The question of divorce, in the sense involving liberty of remarriage, is one into which it is foreign to my purpose to enter' 22 - despite the fact that Mill himself was not able to marry Harriet Taylor until 1851, though they had been emotionally involved for very nearly twenty years.

On the face of it the memorial is simply England's tribute to a great man, a reminder of England's darkest hours in the Napoleonic Wars and a celebration of the great naval victory 32 High Victoriatt Culture that marked the turning of the tide, just as surely as did the Battle of Britain in 1940. In theory the references made by the whole monument are quite specific. There are reliefs showing some of Nelson's other naval victories, such as the Battle of the Nile. The four memorable lions, sculpted by Landseer from the actual animal, which were only completed in 1867, are intended to symbolise Britain's naval defences.

Given the choice between being angels and devils, it was hardly surprising that so many Victorian women opted to be angels. Even Harriet Martineau, an independent woman who had made a career for herself as a successful writer, felt this pressure to live up to cultural expectations of a woman's role. ' 18 In saying this, I am not attempting to decry self-sacrifice, when clearly it is a characteristic which in so many circumstances, can only call for our respect and admiration, my purpose is rather to show how Victorians ministers of the gospel and others used this deference to manipulate women purely in support of male comfort and convenience, which is another matter altogether.

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High Victorian Culture by David Morse (auth.)


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