Nineteenth-Century Prose

Articles from Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring

A Sinful and Suffering Nation: Cholera and the Evolution of Medical and Religious Authority in Britain, 1832-1866
In a time of challenges to existing religious beliefs and renegotiation of political and class oppositions, the four cholera epidemics between 1832 and 1866 became part of a debate on social authority and nationhood. In pamphlets, reports, sermons,...
Fin-De-Siecle Physiology as Sexual Farce: Alfred Jarry's the Supermale (1902)
In Alfred Jarry's novella The Supermale (1902) the famously eccentric author combines his interests in sex, sport, and machines to investigate the nature of human limits and the consequences of transgressing them. The Supermale presents a pair of physical...
From Sagely Wisdom to Supervision: Nightingale as Sage and Nurse
Susan Hamilton explores the ways in which Victorian women produce intellectual prose writing in a period when the "intellectual" is resolutely gendered masculine. Arguing that two apparently unrelated Nightingale texts, Cassandra and Notes on Nursing,...
Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary and the Discourse of Hysteria
Elisabeth Bronfen explores the murky interface between the hysteric Emma Bovary's much ado about nothing and Gustave Flaubert's idea that the perfect novel would be a book about nothing, held together only by the internal strength of its style. In...
Hegel and the Dialectics of Digestion
The process of digestion seems an unlikely target for cultural interpretation. In the early nineteenth century, chymification and chylification remained the objects of some dispute, though empirical science was beginning to find ways to discern the...
Ill but Manly: Male Hysteria in Late Nineteenth-Century Medical Discourse
Misha Kavka contests the accepted view that male hysteria has always been an illness that feminizes men or befalls only feminine men. Nonetheless, hysteria is always a gendered construct. Focusing on Anglo-European medical literature of 1880-1900,...
Nudism, Health, and Modernity: The Natural Cure as Proposed by the German Physical Culture Movement 1900-1914
To overcome degeneration the German Regeneration-Physical Culture movement called for a revival of the body in an over-intellectual German Kultur. Programs of "rational self-cultivation" and exposure of the body to fresh air and sunlight would effect...
The Study of Illness and Health Is the Tale Told by the Body and the Psyche
The aesthetic as a basic component of the way that the nineteenth century understood illness has been neglected. This introductory essay to the Special Issue of Nineteenth-Century Prose, "Representing the Healthy and Ill Body," points to the connections...
"You Have Sprained Your Brain:'" Margaret A. Cleaves, Autobiography of a Neurasthene
Lilian Furst explores the possibility of dualistic readings of Margaret Cleaves' Autobiography of a Neurasthene in light of George M. Beard's theory of neurasthenia, and Freud's theory of hysteria. Cleaves herself believed that her manifold symptoms...