Catalogue

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The female thermometer [electronic resource] : eighteenth-century culture and the invention of the uncanny /
Terry Castle.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
description
278 p. : ill.
ISBN
019508098X (Paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
isbn
019508098X (Paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 15, 2007).
catalogue key
7372248
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-268) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Terry Castle Professor of English at Stanford University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Admirers of Castle's work can encounter old friends such as her groundbreaking essay (updated here) on Fielding's The Female Husband and her cultural analysis of the carnivalesque in eighteenth-century masquerade."--Signs
"...Castle is our best historian of desire, and, as such, she is one ofthose reponsible for the renovation of this business, making it new andexciting."--Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
"...Castle is our best historian of desire, and, as such, she is one of those responsible for the renovation of this business, making it new and exciting."--Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
"Lively new study of 18th-century culture....Intriguing book."--International Herald Tribune
"Lively new study of 18th-century culture....Intriguingbook."--International Herald Tribune
"Terry Castle is well equipped to explore the dark Other of the age of enlightenment, as her book on masquerade demonstrated. Her knowledge of the back alleys and "no trespassing" byways of the culture is minute and particular; and she can not only produce out-of-the-way facts and figures,publications and performances, but she can brilliantly and convincingly articulate their significance for the culture."--ighteenth-Century Fiction
"The Female Thermometer is a delight to read..."--Modern Philology
"The Female Thermometer is filled with incisive observations that make us re-examine the broad preconceptions we hold about the 18th century and reassess some of its specific cultural artifacts."--The New York Times
" The Female Thermometer is filled with incisive observations that make us re-examine the broad preconceptions we hold about the 18th century and reassess some of its specific cultural artifacts."-- The New York Times "Lively new study of 18th-century culture....Intriguing book."-- International Herald Tribune "This is an attractive and important book....There is no essay in this book that isn't a pleasure to read, and none that isn't at the same time supported...by extensive and wide-ranging documentation."-- Times Literary Supplement "The whole collection is informed not only by Castle's wide-ranging erudition... but by her wit and her persuasive and intriguing interpretations. ...she can always take her argument one step further, adding one more turn to the screw. This is a book to be read by specialists in the different authors--Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Radcliffe--as well as savoured by those interested in eighteenth-century culture and the history of the spectral idea."-- Eighteenth-Century Fiction "Terry Castle is well equipped to explore the dark Other of the age of enlightenment, as her book on masquerade demonstrated. Her knowledge of the back alleys and "no trespassing" byways of the culture is minute and particular; and she can not only produce out-of-the-way facts and figures, publications and performances, but she can brilliantly and convincingly articulate their significance for the culture."--ighteenth-Century Fiction
"The Female Thermometeris filled with incisive observations that make us re-examine the broad preconceptions we hold about the 18th century and reassess some of its specific cultural artifacts."--The New York Times "Lively new study of 18th-century culture....Intriguing book."--International Herald Tribune "This is an attractive and important book....There is no essay in this book that isn't a pleasure to read, and none that isn't at the same time supported...by extensive and wide-ranging documentation."--Times Literary Supplement "The whole collection is informed not only by Castle's wide-ranging erudition... but by her wit and her persuasive and intriguing interpretations. ...she can always take her argument one step further, adding one more turn to the screw. This is a book to be read by specialists in the different authors--Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Radcliffe--as well as savoured by those interested in eighteenth-century culture and the history of the spectral idea."--Eighteenth-Century Fiction "Terry Castle is well equipped to explore the dark Other of the age of enlightenment, as her book on masquerade demonstrated. Her knowledge of the back alleys and "no trespassing" byways of the culture is minute and particular; and she can not only produce out-of-the-way facts and figures, publications and performances, but she can brilliantly and convincingly articulate their significance for the culture."--ighteenth-Century Fiction
"The whole collection is informed not only by Castle's wide-ranging erudition... but by her wit and her persuasive and intriguing interpretations. ...she can always take her argument one step further, adding one more turn to the screw. This is a book to be read by specialists in the differentauthors--Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Radcliffe--as well as savoured by those interested in eighteenth-century culture and the history of the spectral idea."--Eighteenth-Century Fiction
"This is an attractive and important book....There is no essay in this book that isn't a pleasure to read, and none that isn't at the same time supported...by extensive and wide-ranging documentation."--Times Literary Supplement
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
Long Description
The work of leading scholar Terry Castle, called by the New York Times "always engaging...consistently fascinating," has helped to revolutionize thinking about lesbian studies and eighteenth-century literature. Reenvisioning the era as peculiarly alive with complexity, in which gender, sexuality, and culture are in constant flux, she offers provocative new theories on culture and sexual identity. This collection offers several of Castle's liveliest essays on female identity from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. Throughout the book are woven themes which are constant in Castle's work: fantasy, hallucination, travesty, transgression, and sexual ambiguity. Like the mythical thermometer of the title, which was purported to measure female lasciviousness, literature is filled with devices for quantifying elements of women's nature and sexuality which are hard todefine--or uncomfortable to confront. Looking at images that mask or mystify female nature, like the masquerade or ghosts, these essays offer a challenging look at a fascinating range of issues involved in the exploration of gender studies. The inaugural volume in Oxford's Ideologies of Desire, The Female Thermometer foreshadows the thought-provoking and forward-looking nature of the books that will make up the series. Its revisionist version of eighteenth-century life will intrigue all those concerned with cultural studies and issues of gender relations throughout history.
Main Description
The work of leading scholar Terry Castle, called by the New York Times "always engaging...consistently fascinating," has helped to revolutionize eighteenth-century studies. The Female Thermometer brings together Castle's essays on the phantasmagoric side of eighteenth-century literature andculture. Taking as her emblem the fanciful "female thermometer," an imaginary instrument invented by eighteenth-century satirists to measure levels of female sexual arousal, Castle explores what she calls the "impinging strangeness" of the eighteenth-century imagination--the ways in which therationalist imperatives of the age paradoxically worked to produce what Freud would later call the uncanny. In essays on doubling and fantasy in the novels of Defoe and Richardson, sexual impersonators and the dream-like world of the eighteenth-century masquerade, magic-lantern shows, automata, andother surreal inventions of Enlightenment science, and the hallucinatory obsessions of Gothic fiction, Castle offers a haunting portrait of a remarkable epoch. Her collection explores the links between material culture, gender, and the rise of modern forms and formulas of subjectivity, effectivelyrewriting the cultural history of modern Europe from a materialist and feminist perspective.
Main Description
The work of leading scholar Terry Castle, called by the New York Times "always engaging...consistently fascinating," has helped to revolutionize eighteenth-century studies. The Female Thermometer brings together Castle's essays on the phantasmagoric side of eighteenth-century literature and culture. Taking as her emblem the fanciful "female thermometer," an imaginary instrument invented by eighteenth-century satirists to measure levels of female sexual arousal, Castle explores what she calls the "impinging strangeness" of the eighteenth-century imagination--the ways in which the rationalist imperatives of the age paradoxically worked to produce what Freud would later call the uncanny. In essays on doubling and fantasy in the novels of Defoe and Richardson, sexual impersonators and the dream-like world of the eighteenth-century masquerade, magic-lantern shows, automata, and other surreal inventions of Enlightenment science, and the hallucinatory obsessions of Gothic fiction, Castle offers a haunting portrait of a remarkable epoch. Her collection explores the links between material culture, gender, and the rise of modern forms and formulas of subjectivity, effectively rewriting the cultural history of modern Europe from a materialist and feminist perspective.
Main Description
The work of leading scholar Terry Castle features essays on phantasmagoria in 18th-century literature and culture. Taking as her emblem the fanciful "female thermometer," an imaginary instrument invented by 18th-century satirists to measure levels of female sexual arousal, Castle explores the ways in which the rationalist imperative of the age paradoxically worked to produce the "impinging strangeness" of the 18th-century imagination.
Unpaid Annotation
The work of leading scholar Terry Castle features essays on phantasmagoria in 18th-century literature and culture. Taking as her emblem the fanciful "female thermometer", an imaginary instrument invented by 18th-century satirists to measure levels of female sexual arousal, Castle explores the ways in which the rationalist imperative of the age paradoxically worked to produce the "impinging strangeness" of the 18th-century imagination.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
The Female Thermometerp. 21
"Amy, Who Knew my Disease": A Psychosexual Pattern in Defoe's Roxanap. 44
Lovelace's Dreamp. 56
"Matters Not Fit to be Mentioned": Fielding's The Female Husbandp. 67
The Culture of Travesty: Sexuality and Masquerade in Eighteenth-Century Englandp. 82
The Carnivalization of Eighteenth-Century English Narrativep. 101
The Spectralization of the Other in The Mysteries of Udolphop. 120
Phantasmagoria and the Metaphorics of Modern Reveriep. 140
Spectral Politics: Apparition Belief and the Romantic Imaginationp. 168
Contagious Folly: An Adventure and Its Skepticsp. 190
Notesp. 215
Works Citedp. 253
Indexp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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