Catalogue


Plain ugly : the unattractive body in early modern culture /
Naomi Baker.
imprint
Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2010.
description
viii, 260 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0719068746 (hbk.) :, 9780719068744 (hbk.) :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2010.
isbn
0719068746 (hbk.) :
9780719068744 (hbk.) :
catalogue key
7341940
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Naomi Baker is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Manchester
Reviews
Review Quotes
'A valuable compendium of cultural references'Review of English Studies, vol 62 no 257
'Baker probes beneath the surface to excavate the deeper cultural concerns undergirding aesthetic anxieties. This book is much more appealing than its subject matter suggests, and is a contribution to cultural studies as well as to a neglected aspect of early modernity. A critic who flits so effortlessly from Bacon and Burton to Mikhail Bakhtin, Barthes and Judith Butler certainly deserves a broad readership.' Willy Maley, The THE, 20th January 2011
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
'Plain Ugly' examines depictions of physically repellent characters in a striking range of early modern literary and visual texts, offering fascinating insights into the ways in which ugliness and deformity were perceived and represented, particularly with regard to gender and the construction of identity.
Main Description
*Plain ugly* examines depictions of physically repellent characters in a striking range of early modern literary and visual texts, offering fascinating insights into the ways in which ugliness and deformity were perceived and represented, particularly with regard to gender and the construction of identity. The book focuses closely on English literary culture but also engages with wider European perspectives, drawing on a wide array of primary sources including Italian and other European visual art. Offering illuminating close readings of texts from both high and low culture, it will interest scholars in English literature, cultural studies, women#146;s studies, history and art history, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students in these disciplines. As an accessible and absorbing account of the power dynamics informing depictions of ugliness (and beauty) in relation to some of the quirkiest literary and visual material to be found in early modern culture, it will also appeal to a wider audience.
Main Description
*Plain ugly* examines depictions of physically repellent characters in a striking range of early modern literary and visual texts, offering fascinating insights into the ways in which ugliness and deformity were perceived and represented, particularly with regard to gender and the construction of identity. The book focuses closely on English literary culture but also engages with wider European perspectives, drawing on a wide array of primary sources including Italian and other European visual art. Offering illuminating close readings of texts from both high and low culture, it will interest scholars in English literature, cultural studies, women's studies, history and art history, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students in these disciplines. As an accessible and absorbing account of the power dynamics informing depictions of ugliness (and beauty) in relation to some of the quirkiest literary and visual material to be found in early modern culture, it will also appeal to a wider audience.
Main Description
Plain Ugly examines depictions of physically repellent characters in a striking range of early modern literary and visual texts, offering fascinating insights into the ways in which ugliness and deformity were perceived and represented, particularly with regard to gender and the construction of identity. The book focuses closely on English literary culture but also engages with wider European perspectives, drawing on a wide array of primary sources including Italian and other European visual art. Offering illuminating close readings of texts from both high and low culture, it will interest scholars in English literature, cultural studies, women's studies, history and art history, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students in these disciplines. As an accessible and absorbing account of the power dynamics informing depictions of ugliness (and beauty) in relation to some of the quirkiest literary and visual material to be found in early modern culture, it will also appeal to a wider audience.
Main Description
Plain Uglyexamines depictions of physically repellent characters in a striking range of early modern literary and visual texts, offering fascinating insights into the ways in which ugliness and deformity were perceived and represented, particularly with regard to gender and the construction of identity. The book focuses closely on English literary culture but also engages with wider European perspectives, drawing on a wide array of primary sources including Italian and other European visual art. Offering illuminating close readings of texts from both high and low culture, it will interest scholars in English literature, cultural studies, women's studies, history and art history, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students in these disciplines. As an accessible and absorbing account of the power dynamics informing depictions of ugliness (and beauty) in relation to some of the quirkiest literary and visual material to be found in early modern culture, it will also appeal to a wider audience.
Main Description
Plain ugly: The Unattractive Body in Early Modern Culture examines depictions of physically repellent characters in a striking range of early modern literary and visual texts, offering fascinating insights into the ways in which ugliness and deformity were perceived and represented, particularly with regard to gender and the construction of identity. It demonstrates that while ugly men were potentially freed from the earlier assumption that an unattractive exterior conveyed a corrupt character, female characters were marginalised through their continuing association with models of the self in which the face was the window of the soul. Renaissance culture is often associated with the celebration of human beauty, yet ugly faces appear frequently in literary texts and the visual arts from across Europe in the early modern period. The book focuses closely on English literary culture but also engages with wider European perspectives, drawing on a wide array of primary sources including Italian and other European visual art. Offering illuminating close readings of texts from both high and low culture, it will interest scholars in English literature, cultural studies, womenÂ’s studies, history and art history, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students in these disciplines.As an accessible and absorbing account of the power dynamics informing depictions of ugliness (and beauty) in relation to some of the quirkiest literary and visual material to be found in early modern culture, it will also appeal to a wider audience.
Table of Contents
List of illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introduction: ugly subjects in early modern Englandp. 1
Theorising uglinessp. 11
What is ugliness?p. 11
Is ugliness in the eye of the beholder?p. 13
'There was never any thing ugly'p. 17
'Frightful pleasure': responding to uglinessp. 21
'Nature's ill-shap'd letters': mechanical philosophyp. 35
'Charactered in my brow': deciphering ugly facesp. 41
'A man may look a sentence'p. 41
The mark of Cainp. 57
'Empty men': Bussy D'Amboisp. 64
Opening the Silenus: gendering the ugly subjectp. 69
'Loathsome loveliness': the odious female bodyp. 70
'Surface ugliness': the male Silenusp. 77
'Opacous' bodies: Richard III and The Changelingp. 80
Ugliness in the Age of Reason: William Hayp. 93
'Sight of her is a vomit': abject bodies and Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholyp. 97
'Still abusing women'p. 98
'Menstruous, plaguy, loathsome'p. 101
Old hagsp. 107
'Vast virago[s]'p. 115
Abjection in The Anatomy of Melancholyp. 122
'To make love to a deformity': praising uglinessp. 131
Repairing the ruins: constructing beautyp. 132
'Fairing the foul': the deformed mistressp. 139
The limits of transformation: smallpox writingp. 151
Sacrificing beauty: defeatured womenp. 158
'Flay my face': self-mutilationp. 165
'Eating poison': Parthenia and her sistersp. 178
Notesp. 189
Bibliographyp. 228
Indexp. 249
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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