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Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity:
Art, Opera, Fiction, and the Proclamation of Modernity
Simon Goldhill

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"[O]ne of the many virtues of Goldhill's work . . . is his ability to draw connections across centuries."--William Baker, Years Work in English Studies

"[T]his is an extremely good book. If it finds the readership it deserves, this volume, which is at once humane and scholarly in its historical account of culture and its vicissitudes, will not only illuminate central issues in Victorian culture; it will also open up new lines of research while closing off fruitless lines of generalization about the classics in the nineteenth century."--Jonah Siegel, Victorian Studies

"This is certainly an important and well researched book. Above all, it provides a valuable reminder to those working in classical reception studies of the importance of historicity."--H. Ellis, English Historical Review

"Goldhill's book is a fascinating contribution to the study of the Victorian reception of the Classics. It provides many new angles on an important area of Reception Studies, and throws new light on more familiar ones."--Richard Warren, Anzeiger fur Altertumwissenschaft


"Goldhill's richly textured, skillfully argued, and improbably erudite journey through France, Germany, and Great Britain in the Victorian period will rightfully place him at the forefront of the burgeoning field of reception studies. Examining the varied, often wildly different influences of Greece and Rome in art, music, and fiction, with a glance at historiography, he situates the study of the classics in the political, social, intellectual, and religious currents of the time, with often surprising results. Whether revisiting opera performances, art exhibitions, or popular cultural icons such as Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii, as well as the uses to which they were put in the hallowed halls of academe and seats of political power, this book is certain to open new ways of understanding how we study and evaluate the manifold meanings of the past."--Froma Zeitlin, Princeton University

"The book is wonderfully written with lots of verve and lucidity, and it dives sensitively into a rich pool of archival material with a good deal of erudition."--James I. Porter, University of California, Irvine

"In this brilliant and wide-ranging book, Goldhill explores the cultural politics of classical reception from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective. He is a voracious reader with a wonderful eye for detail, moving across various literary genres and media--including music and the visual arts--to illuminate popular discourses and scholarly polemics surrounding classics in the nineteenth century. This is a dynamic engagement with Victorian ideas about classical antiquity, far from antiquarian in its appeal."--Yopie Prins, University of Michigan

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File created: 4/24/2017

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