Watching Hannah: Sex, Horror and Bodily De-Formation in Victorian England (Reaktion Books - Picturing History)

By Barry Reay

Arthur Munby (1828–1910) used to be a Victorian gentleman from a revered relatives of Yorkshire legal professionals. He left in the back of diaries that checklist his life-long obsession with working-class Victorian girls, whom he interviewed, photographed and wrote approximately. This obsession resulted in his dating with, and eventual mystery marriage to, his maidservant Hannah Cullwick.

Working girls involved Munby simply because they disrupted his Victorian excellent of femininity: their our bodies have been altered by way of physical exercise and grime, they usually have been additionally frequently deformed via sickness. Drawing not just at the diaries but additionally on an enormous, untapped archive of files, pictures, poems and sketches, Watching Hannah is way greater than an account of a compulsive observer of operating girls and a fetishist of hard-working lady fingers, in spite of the fact that. the writer analyzes Munby's obsessions relating to altering definitions of gender, sexual id and sophistication to bare wider male preoccupations with femininity, the physique, deformity, masculinity and – so much of all – sexuality, at a pivotal element in ecu history.

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Forty four Munby 34, 25 June and 15 August 1866. forty five Munby 35, 21 February 1867. forty six Ibid. , 2 I March 1867. forty seven Ibid. , 24 may well and 18 June 1867. forty eight For an excellent description of the basic features of horror, see N. Carroll, 179 The Philosophy ofHorror or Paradoxes ofthe middle (New York, 1990). (The costs come from pp. 23, forty three, 57·) forty nine Munby ninety seven, booklet 2,16 October 1865. 50 Munby 38, p. 7· fifty one Munby 35, 18June 1867. fifty two See E. okay. Sedgwick, 'The personality within the Veil: Imagery of the skin within the Gothic Novel', in her The Coherence o.. fGothic Conventions (New York, 1980), chap. four; L. Jordanova, Sexual Visions (London, 1989), chap. five; E. Showalter, Sexual Anarchy (London, 1991), chap. eight; R. Stott, 'Rider Haggard's Black Widow', in her The Fabrication ofthe past due- Victorian Femme Fatale (London, 1992), chap. four, esp. pp. ninety six- eight. fifty three M. Lewis, The Monk [1796] (Oxford, 1995). fifty four Sedgwick, Gothic Conventions, p. 143· fifty five Ibid. , p. I I. fifty six Munby 35, 18June 1867. 'Monk' Lewis used to be the identify given to Matthew Lewis after the luck of his novel The Monk (see above). fifty seven Quoted in Stott, 'Rider Haggard's Black Widow', p. 112 (my emphasis). fifty eight N. Etherington, ed. , The Annotated She (Bloomington, 1991), p. 194. this is often retrogressive evolution: Stott, 'Rider Haggard's Black Widow', pp. 114-15. fifty nine Etherington, The Annotated She, p. 294. 60 Stott, 'Rider Haggard's Black Widow'. See additionally B. Dijkstra, Idols ofPerversity: Fantasies ofFeminine Evil in Fin-de-siicle tradition (New York, 1986), pp. 166-7, 290-9 1. sixty one See additionally A. Hodgson, 'Defining the Species: Apes, Savages and people in clinical and Literary Writing of the I 860s' ,Journal o.. fVictorian tradition, four (1999), pp. 228-51. sixty two Munby 34, four December 1866. sixty three Munby 35, 18June 1867. sixty four 'Faces', loved ones phrases, sixteen September 1854. sixty five For literature, see G. Tytler, Physiognomy within the eu Novel (Princeton, 1982). the easiest account of the cultural implications of trust in physiognomy is M. Cowling, The Artist as Anthropologist: The illustration ofType and personality in Victorian paintings (Cambridge, 1989). See additionally L. Hartley, Physiognomy and the that means ofExpression in Nineteenth-century tradition (Cambridge, 2001). sixty six Cowling, Artist as Anthropologist, p. 12. sixty seven For this, see ibid. , esp. chaps 2, four. sixty eight Quoted in ibid. , p. 128. sixty nine See ibid. , p. sixty one. 70 ]. Simms, Nature's Revelations ofCharacter (New York, 1879), p. 217. seventy one Ibid. , p. 246. seventy two Notes on Noses (London, 1857), pp. 8-1 I (quote from p. 10). See also]. Barter, the way to learn the Face and Head (London, 1896). seventy three Cowling, Artist as Anthropologist, p. 349. seventy four Ibid. , pp. 350-5 2 . seventy five Munby 35,2 August 1867. seventy six Ibid. , 17 September 1867. seventy seven For the one-sex version, see T. Laqueur, Making intercourse: physique and Genderfrom the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge, MA, 1990). seventy eight Notes on Noses, p. 107. seventy nine Ibid. , p. I I I. eighty Ibid. , p. 116. eighty one Ibid. ,pp. 111-14. one hundred eighty 82 Ibid. , pp. 108-10. eighty three R. Cooper, 'Victorian Discourses on girls and wonder: The Alexander Walker Texts', Gender and background, five (1993), pp. forty, forty two. eighty four T Woolnoth, The research ofthe Human Face (London, 1865), pp. 23-4,177-9. eighty five Simms, Nature '.

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