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The Making of Victorian Sexuality

by Michael Mason

  • ISBN: 9780192853127
  • ISBN10: 0192853120

The Making of Victorian Sexuality

by Michael Mason

  • List Price: $51.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1995
  • ISBN: 9780192853127
  • ISBN10: 0192853120
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Description: The Making of Victorian Sexuality directly confronts one of the most persistent cliches of modern times. Drawing on an exceptionally wide range of evidence about nineteenth-century behaviour and opinion - from modern demographic analysis to the travel writing of foreign visitors, and from popular medicine to Malthusian polemic - Michael Mason shows how much of our perception of nineteenth-century sexual culture is simply wrong. Far from being a licence for prudery and hypocrisy, Victorian sexual moralism is shown to be in reality a code intelligently embraced by wealthy and poor alike as part of a humane and progressive vision of society's future. The average Victorian man, for example, was not necessarily the church-going, tyrannical, secretly lecherous, bourgeois pater familias of modern-day legend, but often an agnostic, radical-minded, sexually continent citizen, with a deliberately restricted number of children. The Making of Victorian Sexuality is a timely disruption of our present comfortable consensus on nineteenth-century society. Moreover, it persuasively argues that in Victorian sexual moralism, there may be much to teach the complacently libertarian twentieth century.
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