Victorian Jewelry, Identity, and the Novel: Prisms of Culture

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2011 - Design - 172 pages
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Jean Arnold explores the role material objects play in the cultural cohesion of the West, arguing that gems symbolized the most closely held beliefs of the Victorians and thus can be considered "prisms of culture." Her close readings of works by Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Anthony Trollope show jewels turned into symbols of power, personal relationships, and valued ideas that serve to bind the materialist culture together.
 

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Contents

Jewels and the Formation of Identity in Victorian Literature and Culture
1
2 Perceiving Objects
33
3 The Commodity Fetish in Thackerays The Great Hoggarty Diamond
49
4 Gift Theft and Exchange in The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
75
Aesthetics and Gender in Middlemarch
101
Jewelry Gender and the Law in Trollopes The Eustace Diamonds
127
Afterword
147
Bibliography
151
Index
167
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