Time, Space, And Gender In The Nineteenth-century British Diary

Hardcover | October 15, 2011

byRebecca Steinitz

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Time, Space, and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century British Diary is the first comprehensive overview of the omnipresent phenomenon that was the nineteenth-century British diary.  Examining manuscript diaries, diary publication, and diaries in fiction, the book explores how the diary’s organization of time and space made it an invaluable and uniquely effective vehicle for the dominant discourses of the period, including religion, Romanticism, empire, empiricism, domesticity, and nostalgia. The exploration of this vast and varied genre lays the foundation for an analysis of how the diary came to be known as the feminized, emotive, private form still privileged today.

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Time, Space, and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century British Diary is the first comprehensive overview of the omnipresent phenomenon that was the nineteenth-century British diary.  Examining manuscript diaries, diary publication, and diaries in fiction, the book explores how the diary’s organization of time and space made it an invaluable...

Rebecca Steinitz is a writer and editor.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and taught nineteenth-century British literature for many years.  This is her first book.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:284 pages, 8.62 × 5.67 × 0.94 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230115861

ISBN - 13:9780230115866

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Manuscript Diary * Elizabeth Barrett, the Abandoned Diary, and the Challenge of Time * Arthur Munby, the Endless Diary, and the Promise of Space * Family, Gender, and the Intimate Diary * Part II: The Diary in Print * The Politics of Publication * Fiction and the Feminization of the Diary

Editorial Reviews

“In this well-researched and cogently organized book, Steinitz gives us nineteenth-century diaries in manuscript and print, fact and fiction.  Actual diaries were often shared among intimates, kept with equal assiduity by men and women, and invested in both introspection and external observation.  Fiction feminized the diary, depicting it as a private repository of feeling that could then become a narrative device for disclosing secrets.  Filled with excellent insights about an impressive range of materials, this is the most comprehensive study of the British nineteenth-century diary to date.”—Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman Professor, Columbia University and author of Between Women: Friendship, Desire and Marriage in Victorian England“Steinitz’s study of the nineteenth-century British diary, and of the widely varied uses to which diarists, novelists, and cultural panjandrums put the genre, is impressively panoptic and tightly focused all at once. You’ll be struck by how many diarists Steinitz manages to zoom in on, and instructed by how much sense she makes of them, revealing, among much else, that the form’s powers as a cultural practice often doomed its practitioners to a sense of failure; that its operations over space as well as time rendered it indispensable both as a figure for expanding empire, and as a ‘hedge’ against the ‘unprecedented social and physical change’ impelled by that expansion; and finally, in the book’s most sustained argument, that the still-familiar conceptual link between ‘diaries and the feminine’ was widely promulgated precisely because it concealed a more intricate and inconvenient truth about the genre’s ‘practical androgyny.’  Steinitz accomplishes all this with such prestidigital dexterity that while it’s hard to see exactly how she does it, it’s easy to savor how well.”--Stuart Sherman, author of Telling Time: Clocks, Calendars, and English Diurnal Form, 1600-1795