Pleasures of Benthamism: Victorian Literature, Utility, Political Economy .

This book offers a fresh look at the often-censured but imperfectly understood traditions of Utilitarianism and political economy in their bearing for Victorian literature and culture. Treating Bentham, Smith, Malthus, Mill, Dickens, Carlyle, Trollope, Eliot, Gaskell, and Tagore, it sets texts in historical context, examines style as well as ideas, and widens awareness of commonalities across seemingly divided expressions of the age. A work of 'new economiccriticism,' it also treats Utilitarianism. No other literary study addresses Bentham so fully. The prevailing idea of Victorian literature is as contender against the repressive mentality of Dickens's Mr.Gradgrind, the 'carceral' social discipline of Bentham's Panopticon, and the 'dismal science.' But 'utility' has the happier meaning of pleasure. This study presents a capitalist age pursuing utility in commerce, industry, and social reform, favourable to freedom, 'leveling' for gender and class, while, to a surprising extent, advancing its liberalism through 'liberal imperialism.'

Authors: Kathleen Blake

Date: 2009-10-29

Upload Date: 9/15/2020 12:50:47 PM

Format: pdf

Pages: 267



Language: English

ISBN / ASIN: 0199563268


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