Vagrancy in the Victorian Age: Representing the Wandering Poor in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture: Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, cartea 134

Autor Alistair Robinson
en Limba Engleză Paperback – 26 oct 2023
Vagrants were everywhere in Victorian culture. They wandered through novels and newspapers, photographs, poems and periodicals, oil paintings and illustrations. They appeared in a variety of forms in a variety of places: Gypsies and hawkers tramped the country, casual paupers and loafers lingered in the city, and vagabonds and beachcombers roved the colonial frontiers. Uncovering the rich Victorian taxonomy of nineteenth-century vagrancy for the first time, this interdisciplinary study examines how assumptions about class, gender, race and environment shaped a series of distinct vagrant types. At the same time it broaches new ground by demonstrating that rural and urban conceptions of vagrancy were repurposed in colonial contexts. Representational strategies circulated globally as well as locally, and were used to articulate shifting fantasies and anxieties about mobility, poverty and homelessness. These are traced through an extensive corpus of canonical, ephemeral and popular texts as well as a variety of visual forms.
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ISBN-13: 9781009011242
ISBN-10: 1009011243
Pagini: 275
Greutate: 0.37 kg
Editura: Cambridge University Press
Colecția Cambridge University Press
Seria Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Locul publicării:Cambridge, United Kingdom


Introduction; Part I. The Country; 1. Gypsies, Hawkers and Handicraft Tramps; 2. Poachers; Part II. The City; 3. Casual Paupers; 4. Loafers; Part III. The Frontier; 5. Paupers, Vagabonds and American Indians; 6. Beachcombers; Afterword: London 1902.


'… the first notable scholarly work to concentrate exclusively upon nineteenth-century representations of vagrancy - and as such is a highly welcome addition to the wider domain of vagrancy studies, which has so far generally failed to cover this area in detail … as well as offering a wide-ranging and clear account of some of the defining transitions in nineteenth-century attitudes towards vagrancy, alongside a nuanced analysis of how different authors responded to the figure of the vagrant, Vagrancy in the Victorian Age convincingly captures a sense of how attitudes towards vagrancy converged around adjacent prejudicial and subjugatory discourses, while simultaneously providing an opportunity for radical counter-trends to flourish.' Luke Lewin Davies, Journal of Victorian Culture Online
'… combines small details and considerable analysis to build a taxonomy that is structurally holistic and, often, really quite moving.' Delphine Gatehouse, BAVS Newsletter
'a first-rate account of the causes of poverty in the nineteenth century, the reasons for the rapid growth of London street life during this time, the blundering attempts to alleviate the misfortunes of the 'worthy' poor and the misguided urge to punish and reject those who were deemed unworthy.' Ana Alicia Garza, Times Literary Supplement
'… excellent … Robinson's book has set a very high benchmark for those that will undoubtedly follow in its wake.' Luke Seaber, Victorian Periodicals Review
'The meticulous research and nuanced discussion of vagrancy offered in Robinson's book thus adds to our understanding of Dickens's representations, while stimulating us to consider their significance further.' Tamara S. Wagner, Dickens Quarterly
'… this book significantly adds to our understanding not only of nineteenth-century representations of poor people on the move but also of the mobilizations of those representations themselves.' Carolyn Betensky, Modern Language Quarterly
'… a well-written and thought-provoking work, and one that in showing the protean and portable nature of the represented vagrant widens the subject in interesting ways …' Stephen Ridgwell, Journal of Victorian Culture

Notă biografică


An interdisciplinary study of the rich Victorian taxonomy of vagrancy, and the concepts of poverty, mobility and homelessness it expressed.