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The Science of Starving in Victorian Literature, Medicine, and Political Economy$
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Andrew Mangham

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198850038

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198850038.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
(p.iii) The Science of Starving in Victorian Literature, Medicine, and Political Economy

Andrew Mangham

Oxford University Press

An outline of the way in which the nineteenth century invented the idea of hunger as a physiological and material phenomenon whose radical epistemological powers were constructed across literature, medicine, and physiology, this Introduction seeks to offer an outline of how the book’s reading of the social-problem novel will draw on the methodologies associated with literature and science, new materialism, and somatic (bodily) or anthropological realism. It also introduces how the social novels of Kingsley, Gaskell, and Dickens promoted the development of knowledge and sympathy through both an emphasis on the material sufferings of the starving and a detailed analysis of what it means to go hungry, and to observe and to write about it in a way that seeks to be truthful.

Keywords:   New materialism, realism, bodies, social-problem literature, hunger, starvation

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