Friday, December 20, 2013

Shirley's Networked Manufacture

A new scholar paper about Shirley:

Networked Manufacture in Charlotte Brontë’s ShirleyPeter J. Capuano
Victorian Studies
Volume 55, Number 2, Winter 2013
pp. 231-242 | 10.1353/vic.2013.0030
Abstract:

This paper confronts many years of displacement-based readings of Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley (1849) with a historicized “surface reading” that connects the manual labor of two very distinct constituencies in the novel: hardened Luddite machine breakers and dispossessed middle-class women. A surface-level line of inquiry into manufactured objects reveals an inverted network from the mill to the parlor; the redundancy of human hands caused by mechanization in the mill is concurrent with a surplus of female handiwork in the novel’s middle-class homes. I argue that this inversion makes sense if we situate the novel in its 1811–12 setting—the unique historical moment when the term “manufacture” began to accrue paradoxically opposed meanings. Brontë’s oscillation between mechanized and manual forms of manufacture in Shirley marks the early boundaries of what would eventually become the rigidly defined separate spheres of mid-century Victorian life.
And several reviews of Brontë-related books:
Black Spring by Alison Croggon (review) by: Karen Coats
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Volume 67, Number 2, October 2013, p. 83

Translation, Authorship and the Victorian Professional Woman: Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and George Eliot by Lesa Scholl (review) by: Annmarie S. Drury
Victorian Studies, Volume 55, Number 3, Spring 2013, pp. 542-543

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