Review 19: An Online Review of New Books on English and American Literature of the 19th Century
 

New Reviews
 
Pamela K. Gilbert
VICTORIAN SKIN: SURFACE, SELF, HISTORY
(Cornell 2019) xi + 434 pp.
Reviewed by Tabitha Sparks on 2019-10-11.

In The Lampshade (2010), journalist Mark Jacobson traces the origin of the titular object, which was purportedly made from the flayed skin of a Jewish victim of the Nazis. When he consults a spiritualist, she intuits the human source of the lampshade and confirms the Holocaust origin story. This utterly changes Jacobson's relationship to the lampshade, which he now sees as a relic of unimaginable...
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Adena Spingarn
UNCLE TOM FROM MARTYR TO TRAITOR
(Stanford, 2018) xii + 252 pp.
Reviewed by Debra J. Rosenthal on 2019-10-08.

We all know that Uncle Tom died a martyr. No -- wait -- he died a traitor to his race. Was Tom a strong, admirable father who sacrificed himself in a Christ-like fashion to prevent his wife and children from being sold, or was he a shuffling, subservient sell-out of black Americans whose "yes massa" talk reinforced ideas of black inferiority? This bifurcated view of Harriet Beecher Stowe's most...
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Jill Galvan and Elsie Michie, eds.
REPLOTTING MARRIAGE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE
(Ohio State, 2018) v + 269 pp.
Reviewed by Colleen M. Kropp on 2019-10-07.

Marriage in the nineteenth-century is critically central, symbolically and structurally, to the way the British novel emerges as a genre. How do you even begin replotting a deeply cultural, social event like marriage? Jill Galvan and Elsie Michie offer a provocative compilation of essays that explores what it means to rethink the British "marriage plot," which they describe as "the phrase [that]...
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Kathleen Anderson
JANE AUSTEN'S WOMEN: AN INTRODUCTION
(SUNY, 2018) xxv + 293 pp.
Reviewed by June Sturrock on 2019-10-07.

Kathleen Anderson founds the arguments of this book on a detailed knowledge of Austen's six novels acquired over years of reading, teaching, and thinking about them. A brief introduction leads to eight chapters organized into three parts: "Women and the Body: Strength, Sex, and Austenian Wellness"; "Women's Natures: Mood, Mind, Spirit, and Female Giftedness" and "Women and Others: The Female Self...
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Thomas H. Ford
WORDSWORTH AND THE POETICS OF AIR
(Cambridge, 2018) x + 269 pp.
Reviewed by Scott Hess on 2019-09-17.

The scope of Ford's book is much broader than its title suggests. While William Wordsworth's poetry does feature intermittently as a recurring touchstone, the book ranges widely over many Romantic discourses and disciplines, both British and German, to demonstrate the significance of atmosphere as a major trope of the Romantic period. Ford documents how this widely diffused interest in atmosphere...
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