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City of Dreadful Delight By Judith R. Walkowitz

City of Dreadful Delight by Judith R. Walkowitz

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City of Dreadful Delight Summary

City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London by Judith R. Walkowitz

From tabloid exposes of child prostitution to the grisly tales of Jack the Ripper, narratives of sexual danger pulsated through Victorian London. Expertly blending social history and cultural criticism, Judith Walkowitz shows how these narratives reveal the complex dramas of power, politics, and sexuality that were being played out in late nineteenth-century Britain, and how they influenced the language of politics, journalism, and fiction. Victorian London was a world where long-standing traditions of class and gender were challenged by a range of public spectacles, mass media scandals, new commercial spaces, and a proliferation of new sexual categories and identities. In the midst of this changing culture, women of many classes challenged the traditional privileges of elite males and asserted their presence in the public domain. An important catalyst in this conflict, argues Walkowitz, was W. T. Stead's widely read 1885 article about child prostitution. Capitalizing on the uproar caused by the piece and the volatile political climate of the time, women spoke of sexual danger, articulating their own grievances against men, inserting themselves into the public discussion of sex to an unprecedented extent, and gaining new entree to public spaces and journalistic practices. The ultimate manifestation of class anxiety and gender antagonism came in 1888 with the tabloid tales of Jack the Ripper. In between, there were quotidian stories of sexual possibility and urban adventure, and Walkowitz examines them all, showing how women were not simply figures in the imaginary landscape of male spectators, but also central actors in the stories of metropolotian life that reverberated in courtrooms, learned journals, drawing rooms, street corners, and in the letters columns of the daily press. A model of cultural history, this ambitious book will stimulate and enlighten readers across a broad range of interests.

About Judith R. Walkowitz

Judith R. Walkowitz is professor of history at The Johns Hopkins University. Her research and writing have concentrated on 19th-century political culture and the cultural and social contests over sexuality.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword Acknowledgments Introductions 1. Urban Spectatorship 2. Contested Terrain: New Social Actors 3. "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon" 4. "The Maiden Tribute": Cultural Consequences 5. The Men and Women's Club 6. Science and the Seance: Transgressions of Gender and Genre 7. Jack the Ripper Epilogue: The Yorkshire Ripper Notes Selected Bibliography Index

Additional information

CIN000221167
9780226871462
0226871460
City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London by Judith R. Walkowitz
Used - Very Good
Paperback
The University of Chicago Press
1992-08-01
368
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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