One chapter from a book about your topic would be an excellent resource to build your background knowledge.
Books are often written with students (like you) in mind as the intended audience.
A few examples from the collection:
Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic Era by Timothy Fulford; Peter J. Kitson; Debbie Lee; Marilyn Butler (Contribution by); James Chandler (Contribution by)In 1768, Captain James Cook made the most important scientific voyage of the eighteenth century. He was not alone: scores of explorers like Cook, travelling in the name of science, brought new worlds and new peoples within the horizon of European knowledge for the first time. Their discoveries changed the course of science. Old scientific disciplines, such as astronomy and botany, were transformed; new ones, like craniology and comparative anatomy, were brought into being. Scientific disciplines, in turn, pushed literature of the period towards new subjects, forms and styles. Works as diverse as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Wordsworth's Excursion responded to the explorers' and scientists' latest discoveries. This wide-ranging and well-illustrated study shows how literary Romanticism arose partly in response to science's appropriation of explorers' encounters with foreign people and places and how it, in turn, changed the profile of science and exploration.
Manliness and Masculinities in Nineteenth-Century Britain by John ToshIn the space of barely fifteen years, the history of masculinity has become an important dimension of social and cultural history. John Tosh has been in the forefront of the field since the beginning, having written A Man¿s Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (1999), and co-edited Manful Assertions: Masculinities in Britain since 1800 (1991). Here he brings together nine key articles which he has written over the past ten years. These pieces document the aspirations of the first contributors to the field, and the development of an agenda of key historical issues which have become central to our conceptualising of gender in history. Later essays take up the issue of periodisation and the relationship of masculinity to other historical identities and structures, particularly in the context of the family. The last two essays, published for the first time, approach British imperial history in a fresh way. They argue that the empire needs to be seen as a specifically male enterprise, answering to masculine aspirations and insecurities. This leads to illuminating insights into the nature of colonial emigration and the popular investment in empire during the era the New Imperialism.
Call Number: HQ1090.7.G7 T66 2005
Publication Date: 2004-11-12
Culture Wars by Christopher Clark (Editor); Wolfram Kaiser (Editor)Across nineteenth-century Europe, the emergence of constitutional and democratic nation-states was accompanied by intense conflict between Catholics and anticlerical forces. At its peak, this conflict touched virtually every sphere of social life: schools, universities, the press, marriage and gender relations, burial rites, associational culture, the control of public space, folk memory and the symbols of nationhood. In short, these conflicts were 'culture wars', in which the values and collective practices of modern life were at stake. These 'culture wars' have generally been seen as a chapter in the history of specific nation-states. Yet it has recently become increasingly clear that the Europe of the mid- and later nineteenth century should also be seen as a common politico-cultural space. This book breaks with the conventional approach by setting developments in specific states within an all-European and comparative context, offering a fresh and revealing perspective on one of modernity's formative conflicts.
Publication Date: 2003-08-14
Anxious Times by Amelia Bonea; Melissa Dickson; Sally Shuttleworth; Jennifer WallisMuch like the Information Age of the twenty-first century, the Industrial Age was a period of great social changes brought about by rapid industrialization and urbanization, speed of travel, and global communications. The literature, medicine, science, and popular journalism of the nineteenth century attempted to diagnose problems of the mind and body that such drastic transformations were thought to generate: a range of conditions or "diseases of modernity" resulting from specific changes in the social and physical environment. The alarmist rhetoric of newspapers and popular periodicals, advertising various "neurotic remedies," in turn inspired a new class of physicians and quack medical practices devoted to the treatment and perpetuation of such conditions. Anxious Timesexamines perceptions of the pressures of modern life and their impact on bodily and mental health in nineteenth-century Britain. The authors explore anxieties stemming from the potentially harmful impact of new technologies, changing work and leisure practices, and evolving cultural pressures and expectations within rapidly changing external environments. Their work reveals how an earlier age confronted the challenges of seemingly unprecedented change, and diagnosed transformations in both the culture of the era and the life of the mind.
Publication Date: 2019-05-28
'Only Connect': Learned Societies in Nineteenth-Century Britain by William C. LubenowIn the early modern period the subject of knowledge was dogma. Early modern knowledge was often tied to confessional tests and state-building. One road to modernity could be read as escape from institutional and confessional restraints to the freedom of reason. A second one could be read as escape to networks of association and belonging. In the nineteenth century, the latter space was filled in Britain by learned societies (within or outside universities) or even clubs. It was a movement toward a different kind of method and a different kind of learning. Learned societies and clubs became contested sites in which a new kind of identity was created: the charisma and persona of the scholar, of the intellectual. The history of cognition in nineteenth-century Britain became a history of various intellectual enclaves and the people who occupied them.This book examines the nature of knowledge in nineteenth-century Britain and the role of learned societies, clubs and coteries in its formation, organization and dissolution. Drawing on numerous, unpublished, private papers and manuscripts, it looks predominantly at societies in the metropolitan centres of London, Oxford and Cambridge. It also takes up the relation of British styles of learning, in contrast to Continental forms, which aimed to produce people of culture and character suited for positions of public authority. While the British owed much to German exemplars, a tension in these intellectual exchanges remained, magnified by the Great War. The study concludes by comparing British cognitive niches with similar social formations in Germany, France and the United States.WILLIAM C. LUBENOW is Distinguished Professor of History at Stockton College of New Jersey. His previous books include Liberal Intellectuals and Public Culture in Modern Britain (Boydell, 2010), The Cambridge Apostles, 1820-1914 (1998) and Parliamentary Politics and the Home Rule Crisis (1988). He has been president of the North American Conference on British Studies.
Publication Date: 2015-10-15
Media and Print Culture Consumption in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Paul Raphael Rooney (Editor); Anna Gasperini (Editor)This book explores Victorian readers' consumption of a wide array of reading matter. Established scholars and emerging researchers examine nineteenth-century audience encounters with print culture material such as periodicals, books in series, cheap serials, and broadside ballads. Two key strands of enquiry run through the volume. First, these studies of historical readership during the Victorian period look to recover the motivations or desired returns that underpinned these audiences' engagement with this reading matter. Second, contributors investigate how nineteenth-century reading and consumption of print was framed and/or shaped by contemporaneous engagement with content disseminated in other media like advertising, the stage, exhibitions, and oral culture.
Publication Date: 2016-11-10
A Tale of Two Capitalisms by Supritha RajanNo questions are more pressing today than the ethical dimensions of global capitalism in relation to an unevenly secularized modernity.A Tale of Two Capitalisms offers a timely response to these questions by reexamining the intellectual history of capitalist economics during the nineteenth century. Rajan's ambitious book traces the neglected relationships between nineteenth-century political economy, anthropology, and literature in order to demonstrate how these discourses buttress a dominant narrative of self-interested capitalism that obscures a submerged narrative within political economy. This submerged narrative discloses political economy's role in burgeoning theories of religion, as well as its underlying ethos of reciprocity, communality, and just distribution. Drawing on an impressive range of literary, anthropological, and economic writings from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century, Rajan offers an inventive, interdisciplinary account of why this second narrative of capitalism has so long escaped our notice. The book presents an unprecedented genealogy of key anthropological and economic concepts, demonstrating how notions of sacrifice, the sacred, ritual, totemism, and magic remained conceptually intertwined with capitalist theories of value and exchange in both sociological and literary discourses. Rajan supplies an original framework for discussing the ethical ideals that continue to inform contemporary global capitalism and its fraught relationship to the secular. Its revisionary argument brings new insight into the history of capitalist thought and modernity that will engage scholars across a variety of disciplines.
Publication Date: 2015-03-30
Women's Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Melissa Edmundson MakalaThroughout nineteenth-century Britain, female writers excelled within the genre of supernatural literature. Much of their short fiction and poetry uses ghosts as figures to symbolize the problems of gender, class, economics, and imperialism, thus making their supernatural literature something more than just a good scare. Women's Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain recovers and analyzes for a new audience this "social supernatural" ghost literature, as well as the lives and literary careers of the women who wrote it.
Publication Date: 2013-04-15
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