Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Perverse romanticism : aesthetics and sexuality in Britain, 1750-1832 /
Richard C. Sha.
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
description
xi, 359 p. : ill.
ISBN
0801890411 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780801890413 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
isbn
0801890411 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780801890413 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6640919
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"An ambitious interdisciplinary project, mixing history of science with literary analysis to argue that Romantic aesthetics and sexuality were united in their embrace of perversion." -- Patrick Singy, Journal of Modern History
An engaging study.
An impressive display of Sha's masterful grasp of a wide range of scholarly literature, and a provocative thesis that will be of interest to academics in all three fields.
"An impressive display of Sha's masterful grasp of a wide range of scholarly literature, and a provocative thesis that will be of interest to academics in all three fields." -- Katie Gray, H-Net Reviews
His theoretical insights come together with acute readings and strong historical research.
"His theoretical insights come together with acute readings and strong historical research." -- Times Literary Supplement
Richard C. Sha's fine study takes Byron's theme of 'perversion' in a different direction from the ethical, demonstrating how Romantic medical writing about the perverse influenced literary Romanticism.... Fascinating book.
"Richard C. Sha's fine study takes Byron's theme of 'perversion' in a different direction from the ethical, demonstrating how Romantic medical writing about the perverse influenced literary Romanticism.... Fascinating book." -- Byron Journal
Sha brings to these topics a keen intelligence buttressed by up-to-the-minute scholarship... He dazzles by the quantity and breadth of his reading and embodies the best interdisciplinary approaches so many scholars tout but rarely incorporate.
"Sha brings to these topics a keen intelligence buttressed by up-to-the-minute scholarship... He dazzles by the quantity and breadth of his reading and embodies the best interdisciplinary approaches so many scholars tout but rarely incorporate." -- George Rousseau, Social History of Medicine
Sha's scholarship on behalf of perversion is formidable, and makes for fun reading.
Sha's work...with its rich and engaging cultural context, significantly broadens and deepens our understanding of Romantic-era sexuality.
Strong scholarship.
Stunningly brilliant and original... a distinguished work that is well worth reading.
Sha addresses the ways in which Romantic literature advocated purposelessness in both aesthetics and sexual pleasure: art for art's sake and sex for the sake of sex. His analysis is original and insightful.
"Sha addresses the ways in which Romantic literature advocated purposelessness in both aesthetics and sexual pleasure: art for art's sake and sex for the sake of sex. His analysis is original and insightful." -- Frederick Burwick, University of California, Los Angeles
With breathtaking scholarship, solid erudition, and distinctively clear prose, Richard Sha shows us the place of perversity in Romantic aesthetics. He links aesthetics and sexuality by showing how 'resistance to function can be the basis of a meaningful critique of society.' By linking these previously binarily opposed terms, Sha is able to embrace the perverse and show us how it becomes a central motivating force behind Romantic thought. As a result Romanticism is reimagined here, as Sha says, 'from the ground up.' This is a groundbreaking study that will change our understanding of the major Romantic writers and the field of Romanticism itself.
"With breathtaking scholarship, solid erudition, and distinctively clear prose, Richard Sha shows us the place of perversity in Romantic aesthetics. He links aesthetics and sexuality by showing how 'resistance to function can be the basis of a meaningful critique of society.' By linking these previously binarily opposed terms, Sha is able to embrace the perverse and show us how it becomes a central motivating force behind Romantic thought. As a result Romanticism is reimagined here, as Sha says, 'from the ground up.' This is a groundbreaking study that will change our understanding of the major Romantic writers and the field of Romanticism itself." -- George E. Haggerty, University of California, Riverside
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Richard C. Sha's revealing study considers how science shaped notions of sexuality, reproduction, and gender in the Romantic period.
Main Description
Richard C. Sha's revealing study considers how science shaped notions of sexuality, reproduction, and gender in the Romantic period.Through careful and imaginative readings of various scientific texts, the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Longinus, and the works of such writers as William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Lord Byron, Sha explores the influence of contemporary aesthetics and biology on literary Romanticism.Revealing that ideas of sexuality during the Romantic era were much more fluid and undecided than they are often characterized in the existing scholarship, Sha's innovative study complicates received claims concerning the shift from perversity to perversion in the nineteenth century. He observes that the questions of perversity -- or purposelessness -- became simultaneously critical in Kantian aesthetics, biological functionalism, and Romantic ideas of private and public sexuality. The Romantics, then, sought to reconceptualize sexual pleasure as deriving from mutuality rather than from the biological purpose of reproduction.At the nexus of Kantian aesthetics, literary analysis, and the history of medicine, Perverse Romanticism makes an important contribution to the study of sexuality in the long eighteenth century.
Main Description
Richard C. Sha's revealing study considers how science shaped notions of sexuality, reproduction, and gender in the Romantic period. Through careful and imaginative readings of various scientific texts, the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Longinus, and the works of such writers as William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Lord Byron, Sha explores the influence of contemporary aesthetics and biology on literary Romanticism. Revealing that ideas of sexuality during the Romantic era were much more fluid and undecided than they are often characterized in the existing scholarship, Sha's innovative study complicates received claims concerning the shift from perversity to perversion in the nineteenth century. He observes that the questions of perversity -- or purposelessness -- became simultaneously critical in Kantian aesthetics, biological functionalism, and Romantic ideas of private and public sexuality. The Romantics, then, sought to reconceptualize sexual pleasure as deriving from mutuality rather than from the biological purpose of reproduction. At the nexus of Kantian aesthetics, literary analysis, and the history of medicine, Perverse Romanticism makes an important contribution to the study of sexuality in the long eighteenth century.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Romantic Science and the Perversification of Sexual Pleasurep. 16
Historicizing Perversion: Perversity, Perversion, and the Rise of Function in the Biological Sciencesp. 51
One Sex or Two? Nervous Bodies, Romantic Puberty, and the Natural Origins of Perverse Desiresp. 78
The Perverse Aesthetics of Romanticism: Purposiveness with Purposep. 141
Fiery Joys Perverted to Ten Commands: William Blake, the Perverse Turn, and Sexual Liberationp. 183
Byron, Epic Puberty, and Polymorphous Perversityp. 241
Notesp. 289
Works Citedp. 325
Indexp. 347
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem