The Representation of Bodily Pain in Late Nineteenth-Century English Culture

Hardcover | August 1, 2000

byLucy Bending

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This book presents a study of the ways in which concepts of pain were treated across a broad range of late Victorian writing, placing literary texts alongside sermons, medical textbooks and the campaigning leaflets, in order to suggest patterns of presentation and evasion to be perceivedthroughout the different texts assembled. Pain is not a shared, cross-cultural phenomenon and this book uses the examples of fire-walking, flogging, and tattooing to show that, despite the fact that pain is often invoked as a marker of shared human identity, understandings of pain are sharplyaffected by class, gender, race, and supposed degree of criminality. In arguing this case, Virginia Woolfs claim that there is no language for pain is taken seriously, but the importance of this book lies in its exploration of the ways in which the seemingly incommunicable experience of bodilysuffering can be conveyed.

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This book presents a study of the ways in which concepts of pain were treated across a broad range of late Victorian writing, placing literary texts alongside sermons, medical textbooks and the campaigning leaflets, in order to suggest patterns of presentation and evasion to be perceivedthroughout the different texts assembled. Pain is...

Lucy Bending is Lecturer in English, University of Wales, Aberyswyth
Format:HardcoverPublished:August 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198187173

ISBN - 13:9780198187172

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Christian Understandings of Physical Suffering2. The Rise of Medical Paradigm3. Pain and Language4. Antivisectionary Rhetoric and Pain5. The Question of Shared Human Sensibility6. The Pleasures and Pains of FloggingBibliographyIndex