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Posts Tagged ‘nineteenth century’

Southern Gothic literature builds on the traditions of the larger Gothic genre, typically including supernatural elements, mental disease, and the grotesque. Much Southern Gothic literature, however, eschews the supernatural and deals instead with disturbed personalities. Southern Gothic is known for its damaged and delusional characters, such as the heroines of Tennessee Williams’ plays. Instead of perpetuating romanticized stereotypes of the Antebellum South, Southern Gothic literature often brings the stock characters of melodrama and Gothic novels to a Southern context.

My favourite writer was only born three years before the end of the nineteenth century, so I hope you’ll forgive me for posting it here.

William Faulkner is an American fiction writer whose work is deeply rooted in the Southern United States, particularly in his home state of Mississippi. William Faulkner, who lived from 1897 to 1962, had a unique, stream-of-consciousness writing style and was far more experimental with his texts than many of his fellow writers were. Though relatively unknown for much of his career, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. Today, William Faulkner is considered to be one of America’s greatest Southern writers, along with Mark Twain.

Probably his most well-known story is “A Rose for Emily,” which is both romantic and creepy. You can read it online, here.

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Aubrey Beardsley was so extravagantly foppish, so precious in his speech and so languid in his posturings that Oscar Wilde claimed him for his own invention

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (August 21, 1872 – March 16, 1898) was an influential English illustrator, and author. Beardsley was born in Brighton. In 1883 his family settled in London, and in the following year he appeared in public as an “infant musical phenomenon,” playing at several concerts with his sister. He attended Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School in 1884, and in 1888 he obtained a post in an architect’s office, and afterwards one in the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company. In 1891, under the advice of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, he took up art as a profession. In 1892 he attended the classes at the Westminster School of Art,

He was aligned with the Yellow Book coterie of artists and writers. He was an art editor for the first four editions and produced many illustrations for the magazine. He was also closely aligned with Aestheticism, the British counterpart of Decadence and Symbolism.

Aubrey Beardsley was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned for his dark and perverse images and the grotesque erotica, which were the main themes of his later work.

(From here)

A gallery of his work

A sad story about his final days.

His writings and drawings in a book, free to read online

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I wanted to write this out but fashion-era’s site is very comprehensible. So here are three links which will show you how hair was worn during the nineteenth century!

1800-1840

1840-1870

1870-1899

A site with many articles on everything hat-related:

Victorian Hats

“Wearing every article of the same colour is fashionable only on condition the strictest uniformity of tone is maintained. “There is nothing more distressing than seeing a dress of deep blue, inclining to purple, with a bonnet with sky-blue ribbons.”

Beauty advice from a 1863 Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine.

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Unrelated: Catherine Sherman posted a review on a book which seems very interesting: Kate Summerscale’s “The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.” you can read the review here. The book is a detective novel, set in 1860. It’s definitely on my to-read list! (On Amazon)

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Many people with an interest in 19th century literature will have read some Oscar Wilde (or at least seen a movie adaption), but have you read the fairytales? Wilde’s fairytale are unlike most fairytales. They feature beautiful boys, and very sad endings.

During the 18th century, rational and Enlightened thinking was valued, and folk legends and fairytales were not popular at all. However in 1823, with the publication of Edgar Taylor’s translation of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, (translated as German Popular Stories ), fairy tales became, almost overnight, a respectable study for antiquarians, an inspiration for poets, and a permissible source of wonder for the young (from csulb.net)

Wilde wrote subversively to undermine stereotypical Victorian values. “He clearly wanted to subvert the messages conveyed by [Hans] Andersen’s tales, but more important his poetical style recalled the rhythms and language of the Bible in order to counter the stringent Christian code” (from csulb.net)

A (bit lengthy) essay on the fairytales and how Wilde’s psyche can be known through them

Read some stories online

My favourite part, which shows the unexpected edge to the fairytales, is from “The Star-Child:”

And they fell on his neck and kissed him, and brought him into the palace and clothed him in fair raiment, and set the crown upon his head, and the sceptre in his hand, and over the city that stood by the river he ruled, and was its lord. Much justice and mercy did he show to all, […] taught love and loving-kindness and charity, and to the poor he gave bread, and to the naked he gave raiment, and there was peace and plenty in the land.
Yet ruled he not long, so great had been his suffering, and so bitter the fire of his testing, for after the space of three years he died. And he who came after him ruled evilly.

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More or less related, if you are interested in reading, books, and studying online and connecting with other bibliophiles, check out this great site which has links to pretty much anything book-related:
100 Places to connect with bibliophiles online

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Something I found on the Decayed Lace blog, which features some interesting writing and trivia:

[D]ear reader, let me kindly introduce you to the wonders of the so-called ANTIMACASSAR.
In order to fully grasp what’s to be understood by the concept of an antimacassar, one has to undertake a voyage back into the 19th Century- a voyage into the curious world of Victorian fashion and cosmetics, to be accurate!
As the devoted connoisseur of Yesteryear knows, it was the style in these days for a Gentleman to wear his hair in a carefully clipped coiffure [often in combination with sideburns, which were a token fashion item of the era] that was combed back rigorously and, in order to make it appear sleek and glossy, trickled with macassar oil. Thus, one could say macassar oil was the precursor of brillantine, which reached the height of its popularity during the rambunctious days of the Jazz Age. Today, the prospect of oily hair might appear to us as an outlandish fad, but back in the dear Golden Age gentlemen sporting an elaborately brillantined haircut were the pinnacle of elegance!
To the mistress of the Victorian household however, the lubricious
headdress usually was a mere nuisance- grease spots all over the backrest of your sofa! Therefore, the canny Lady would pin pretty white doilies on the spot of the furniture where the Gentleman’s head would be. These doilies -as you might have guessed by now, dear reader- were called antimacassar, pragmatically named after the principal purpose they had to serve.
[Considering the fact that Victorian Gentlemen also used other, rather revolting substances like beef suet or bear’s grease to control their hair, macassar oil might not have been that bad after all.]

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The July Monarchy (1830-1848) was established in France with the reign of Louis Philippe of France. His predecessor, Charles X, was abdicated during the July Revolution. This revolution had been launched in July of 1830 by the merchant bourgeoisie, who were outraged to be ousted from the limited voters list.

The July Monarchy was a period of liberal monarchy rule of France under Louis-Philippe. Charles X of the House of Bourbon was overthrown in the July Revolution, and was succeeded on August 9, 1830 by Louis-Philippe of the House of Orléans. Proclaiming himself the “King of the French” (roi des Français) instead of “King of France” (roi de France), thus underscoring the supremacy of popular sovereignty, Louis-Philippe established a moderate, constitutional monarchy.

The renovated regime (often called the July Monarchy or the bourgeois monarchy) rested on an altered political theory and a broadened social base. Divine right gave way to popular sovereignty; the social centre of gravity shifted from the landowning aristocracy to the wealthy bourgeoisie.

The monarchy was marked by continued dissension on the Left and its overwhelming bourgeois character.

The new regime’s ideal was explicated by Louis-Philippe’s famous statement in January 1831: “We will attempt to remain in a juste milieu (the just middle), in an equal distance from the excesses of popular power and the abuses of royal power.”

Further reading:
Bartleby.com
Tocqueville.fr

Unrelated, but interesting links:
A Very Fine Romance wrote some very fine articles on the Habsburg Monarchy, definitely worth a visit!
History of Art Blog posted an article on crowds in landscape paintings, which has some very interesting insights.
Victorian Novel Community a community all about Victorian novels. There is not a lot of action but it makes a good read.

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Demimonde was a polite 19th century term that was often used the same way we use the term “mistress” today. In the 19th century it primarily referred to a class of women on the fringes of respectable society supported by wealthy lovers (usually each had several). The term is also used to refer to these women as a group, and the social circles they moved in. As a group, the demimonde did not form a ‘society’ any more than modern prostitutes form a society. But they did represent a social class of women in the latter half of the 19th century and into the early 20th century who were commonplace fixtures in the upper class of French, English and, to some extent, American society. In the United States and Britain, they were (and still are) also often referred to as courtesans, though that term in the 19th century applied to a profession (as the term “prostitute” describes a profession), whereas Demimonde/Demimondaine was used to describe a broader social class. The term is French, and means literally “half-world”, implying those women existed on the fringes of the “real world.” It derives from a comedy by Alexandre Dumas fils published in 1855 called Le Demi-Monde.

Descriptions of the demimonde can be found in Vanity Fair, a novel which satirizes 19th century society written by William Makepeace Thackeray. Although it does not mention the terms ‘demimonde’ and ‘demimondaine’ (they were coined later), the terms were later used by reviewers and other authors in reference to three characters in it.

Source: Wikipedia

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