The science of character : human objecthood and the ends of Victorian realism (Book, 2021) [WorldCat.org]
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The science of character : human objecthood and the ends of Victorian realism

Author: S Pearl Brilmeyer
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2021.
Series: Thinking literature.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Summary:
"In 1843, the Victorian political theorist John Stuart Mill outlined a new science, "the science of the formation of character." Although Mill's proposal failed as scientific practice, S. Pearl Brilmyer shows that it survived in the work of Victorian novelists, who cultivated a narrative science of human nature. Brilmyer explores this characterological project in the work of such novelists as George Eliot, Thomas  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: S Pearl Brilmeyer
ISBN: 9780226815770 0226815773 9780226815787 0226815781
OCLC Number: 1241244169
Description: pages cm
Series Title: Thinking literature.
Responsibility: S. Pearl Brilmeyer.

Abstract:

"In 1843, the Victorian political theorist John Stuart Mill outlined a new science, "the science of the formation of character." Although Mill's proposal failed as scientific practice, S. Pearl Brilmyer shows that it survived in the work of Victorian novelists, who cultivated a narrative science of human nature. Brilmyer explores this characterological project in the work of such novelists as George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and Olive Schreiner. Bringing to life Mill's unrealized dream of a science of character, Victorian realists used fiction to investigate the nature of embodied experience, how traits and behaviors in human and nonhuman organisms emerge and develop, and how aesthetic features-shapes, colors, and gestures-come to take on cultural meaning through certain categories, such as race and sex. In the hands of these authors, Brilmyer argues, literature became a science, not in the sense that its claims were falsifiable or even systematically articulated, but in its commitment to uncovering, through a fictional staging of realistic events, the universal laws governing human life. The Science of Character offers brilliant insights into important novels of the period, including Eliot's Middlemarch, and a fuller picture of English realism during the crucial span between 1870 and 1920"--

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