The Victorian Diary : Authorship and Emotional Labour book cover
1st Edition

The Victorian Diary
Authorship and Emotional Labour

ISBN 9780367879020
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
226 Pages

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Book Description

In her examination of neglected diaristic texts, Anne-Marie Millim expands the field of Victorian diary criticism by complicating the conventional notion of diaries as mainly private sources of biographical information. She argues that for Elizabeth Rigby Eastlake, Henry Crabb Robinson, George Eliot, George Gissing, John Ruskin, Edith Simcox and Gerard Manley Hopkins, the exposure or publication of their diaries was a real possibility that they either coveted or feared. Millim locates the diary at the intersection of the public and private spheres to show that well-known writers and public figures of both sexes exploited the diary's self-reflexive, diurnal structure in order to enhance their creativity and establish themselves as authors. Their object was to manage, rather than to indulge or repress, their emotions for the purposes of perfecting their observational and critical skills. Reading these diaries as literary works in their own right, Millim analyses their crucial role in the construction of authorship. By relating these Victorian writers' diaries to their publications and to contemporary works of cultural criticism, Millim shows the multifarious ways in which diaristic practices, emotional management and professional output corresponded to experiences of the literary marketplace and to nineteenth-century codes of propriety.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; Publicised emotion: emotional education in the diaries of Elizabeth Eastlake and Henry Crabb Robinson; Economies of emotion in the diaries of George Eliot and George Gissing; Photographic emotion: visual and temporal appropriation in John Ruskin’s diaries; The labour of resignation and assertion in the diaries of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Edith Simcox; Epilogue: wholeness, complementation and self-signification; Bibliography; Index.

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Anne-Marie Millim is a research fellow at the University of Luxembourg.


’The Victorian Diary is a substantial achievement, fully justifying its concluding aspiration that it will further energise the field and thus extend it to other nonartists and workers (185).’ SHARP News ’...Victorian Diary is a welcome addition to an area that, despite the flourishing academic interest in life-writing, remains undertheorized.’ George Eliot Review