The Ends of History: Victorians and

The Ends of History

Victorians and "the Woman Question", 1st Edition

By Christina Crosby


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Why were the Victorians so passionate about "History"?

How did this passion relate to another Victorian obsession – the "woman question"? In a brilliant and provocative study, Christina Crosby investigates the links between the Victorians’ fascination with "history" and with the nature of "women."

Discussing both key novels and non-literary texts – Daniel Deronda and Hegel’s Philosophy of History; Henry Esmond and Macaulay’s History of England; Little Dorrit, Wilkie Collins’ The Frozen Deep, and Mayhew’s survey of "labour and the poor"; Villette, Patrick Fairburn’s The Typology of Scripture and Ruskin’s Modern Painters – she argues that the construction of middle-class Victorian "man" as the universal subject of history entailed the identification of "women" as those who are before, beyond, above, or below history. Crosby’s analysis raises a crucial question for today’s feminists – how can one read historically without replicating the problem of nineteenth century "history"?

The book was first published in 1991.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. George Eliot’s Apocalypse of History 2. Henry Esmond and the Subject of History 3. History and the Melodramatic Fix 4. Villette and the End of History 5. Conclusion: The High Cost of History

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Women's History

Reissuing seminal works originally published between 1928 and 1992, Routledge Library Editions: Women's History offers a selection of scholarship covering women's roles, gender battles, feminism and other issues through the ages. Topics include women in the World Wars, prostitution in Victorian times, the history of abortion, women's roles in the Stuart era and women's place in the household and in work.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Social History