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In the s and s, the early novels of Disraeli like Contarini Fleming , Alroy , Coningsby , and Tancred: But there is also the corresponding negative stereotype of Arab peoples as untrustworthy political intriguers in the figure of Fakredeen, the Syrian emir who originally holds Tancred hostage, and whose sister, Eva, Tancred wishes to marry. Moreover, Dickens, like Trollope after him, plays on the stereotyped physical characteristics associated with the Jew: The other dimension of the novel that is noteworthy, as Nadia Valman suggests, is its depiction of the Jewish female character Rebecca Loth.

She is first introduced, unpromisingly enough, in terms of a negative type of Orientalist beauty: Despite his power and the admiration the narrator sometimes reveals for his financial genius and his dogged acceptance of ruin, Melmotte is a swindler and a forger, ultimately committing suicide like his literary predecessor, Mr. The banker, Ezekiel Brehgert, is initially described through the conventional negative stereotypes of Jewish appearance: First, the text is quite explicit in not identifying Marie or Melmotte as unambiguously Jewish.

Valman is not alone in this misidentification of Marie: These are both sociocultural and physical: In terms of physical stereotypes, as in Trollope, there is emphasis on eyes that are set too close together, and Hans Meyrick makes fun of the Jewish nose. In fiction, it is not until the appearance of the works of H.


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Marlow is not in control and never sees anything very clearly, partly due to the fog or mist that periodically impedes his vision and surrounds him and his listeners as he tells the story, and partly due to his misconceptions. Almayer loses his business and his daughter and ends an opium addict, while Willems is morally bankrupt and, like Jim after him, betrays his native benefactors.

As in Heart of Darkness , Conrad exploits and undermines Orientalist stereotypes, in this case the morally righteous English officer, the Noble Savage, and the South Seas as paradise. The opening of Dracula , for example, establishes the classic opposition between the Protestant, rational, efficient, safe, and ordered West and the Catholic, superstitious, inefficient, dangerous, unmapped, and wild East of Europe in Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains. Renfield, and, later, less entirely successfully, Mina Harker.

Van Helsing to protect it, Dracula conquers. The final movement of the novel, the pursuit of Dracula from the West to the East of Europe to Transylvania, involves classic images of Dracula as the savage colonized subject: M Ballantyne, and, later in the century, G. Henty and Robert Louis Stevenson, although Stevenson mixes the imperialist worldview with the more romantic adventure tropes of piracy and treasure. A Story of the War with Tippoo Saib Here the genres of the animal fable and the moral tale intersect with Orientalist images and leitmotifs to produce a variety of perspectives on the situation of the British in India.

Then everybody in the jungle suffers. In the latter, the exoticism of earlier works becomes enmeshed in political plots and themes, a development that continues in the early 20th century in the novels of Sax Rohmer and John Buchan, among others. Wells reveal the merging of exoticizing and imperialist Orientalism in a politicized form of the adventure novel. Unlike Collins, however, who finally has the diamond returned to its place on the forehead of the Hindu deity in India, Shiel has the sapphire cut up and sold and thus integrated into the money market.

Another example of this mingling of the adventure novel with Western anxieties over the potential threat of the East and the delight in describing and dangerously exotic settings and characters is Dr. Nikola , the first of a series of novels focused on this character whose nationality is obscure. The action takes place in India, China, and Tibet, and the Orient is represented through a series of negative stereotypes: Nikola is a combination of an evilly disposed Sherlock Holmes he has considerable detective skill, he is a mathematical genius, a hypnotist, and a master of intrigue and the adventure heroes of Haggard or, later, John Buchan, due to his physical and mental strength and endurance.

Nikola is also a master of Oriental languages and disguise; he and Bruce adopt no fewer than four different disguises in the course of the novel. Orientalism in Victorian fiction is thus a wide and varied field, as is its counterpart in Victorian travel writing, and although each area is associated with particular Orientalist tropes, there are also features that are common to many travel accounts. Many of these tropes belong equally to the domains of exoticist and imperialist Orientalism.

Although the social-criticism strand of Victorian Orientalism is less significant in travel writing than in other genres, writers like Henry Morton Stanley, Richard F. Burton, and Mary Kingsley at times turn their Orientalizing comments on their non-European surroundings back on English society and politics.

The trope of the picturesque often takes the form of images of ruins representing the decay of a formerly powerful civilization, while exoticism is also seen in the tropes of the harem, the seclusion of women, and the Oriental despot. Letters Written to Her Sister from the Upper Provinces of India use the picturesque, which, as Ghose observes, can be seen as one version of the power of the colonial gaze, which distances and categorizes what it looks on.

Orientalist representations of the Middle East in Victorian travel writing take different forms, depending on the particular geographical area being described: Victorian travelers to Egypt and Turkey often used the familiar exoticist Orientalist tropes of The Arabian Nights , the hammam or Turkish bath , the harem, the slave market, the veiled or secluded woman, and the Oriental despot.

Thackeray records Turkish baths, hookahs, dervishes, minarets, and bazaars, but both he and Kinglake also compare this picturesque Orient to the progress represented by Western technology, notably that of steam. Other common tropes used to represent Egypt were those of the ancient past sometimes seen as still existing in the present , the theatrical performance, and the picturesque. Burton takes on numerous non-European identities: All four works present the Arabian Desert and the Bedouin as an undiscovered and unknown world, with the associated tropes of the panorama, the heroic adventure, and discovery, as Ali Behdad has shown.

Orientalist tropes in travel writing primarily related to Africa may be divided into the imperialist and the exotic. Stanley records his hunting exploits and insists on the hardships and obstacles he and his fellow explorers face, as well as their discoveries. He says of the Baganda: I never found him treacherous; but then I never trusted him. The use of Orientalist tropes to criticize British society in travel writing is far less important than it is in fiction, although writers like Stanley, Burton, and Mary Kingsley offer scattered examples.

If Stanley repeatedly describes the majority of Africans as savages and heathens, he also calls for greater development of colonial transport infrastructures like railways, steamers, and, on one occasion, a tramway, and for greater missionary activity. Orientalism in Victorian political discourse shares many tropes with the discourse of travel writing and some with that of fiction; unsurprisingly, imperialist Orientalism is the dominant mode.

James Mill himself drawing on a tradition that goes back at least to Edmund Burke identifies the characteristics of India, its people, and its religion in a set of tropes that becomes standard in later writers: Anthropological or ethnographic or what would now be called sociological writing uses similar tropes of heathenism and barbarism both in relation to Africa and to the lack of education and potential for violence of the English working classes, especially toward the end of the century.

Some of the most important examples of Orientalism in the Victorian theater and in popular entertainment are found in plays dealing with exotic or imperial people and settings or biblical, historical, or contemporary events, panoramas, dioramas, and exhibitions of both artifacts and exotic peoples in museums and other locations. The most important of these were the Great Exhibition of , held in the Crystal Palace and later moved to Sydenham, just south of London, and Vauxhall Gardens, a popular place of entertainment in London on the south bank of the Thames.

In the case of the very popular panoramas and dioramas, as Edward Ziter argues, the Constantinople panorama of Henry Aston Barker exhibited in , , and — drew on favorite scenes in Orientalist painting, notably the harem, the Turkish bath, and the slave market. In the theater, Orientalist productions included panorama-type spectacles, farce, burlesque, pantomime, ballet, melodrama, and more serious drama: Farces, pantomimes, and burlesques tended to transform real historical and political events into conventional plot lines: Forman discusses various versions of the pantomime, Aladdin , from the s onward, as well as different types of dramas based on the Chinese arranged-marriage plot and stock comic types and situations, often involving a British Tar sailor and a Chinese heroine.

Although the exhibition of non-European people had been a feature of London life from the middle of the 16th century onward, Ziter argues that whereas before the 19th century such people had been seen as rare or exceptional, in the course of the Victorian period they came to be regarded as representatives of their particular cultures and environments. Altick demonstrates, there was protest at the degrading nature of the way she was exhibited, a court action by the African Association to have her released and allowed to return to South Africa was dismissed, and, after she died in Paris of smallpox and bad medical treatment, her body was dissected by Georges Cuvier, thus even in death, not escaping her reduction to an imperial commodity and spectacle.

Toward the end of the 19th century, in the s and s, musical productions like W. In the field of architecture, it is perhaps first necessary to distinguish between Orientalist architecture in Britain and Orientalist architecture outside Britain in places like India, Egypt, or Turkey. Built in three stages from to , it still stands and is now a museum.

Photograph by Robert Freidus. Formatting and perspective correction by George P. Courtesy of The Victorian Web. The New York Public Library. Mark Crinson discusses eclecticism as an important characteristic of Victorian architecture, both in Victorian theoretical discussions of Islamic and Byzantine architecture and in buildings designed by British architects in Alexandria Egypt , Istanbul, and Jerusalem. Like Altick, Ziter, and MacKenzie, Curtin also points out the importance of pastiche or imitation Orientalist architecture in the world of Victorian exhibitions.

Victorian Orientalist art is a varied field that can be divided into several categories, in most of which exoticist and imperialist tropes dominate: To some extent, Orientalism in Victorian art deals in similar topics and tropes to those of Victorian literature, that is, the exotic, the imperialist, and the socially critical. MacKenzie identifies themes like chivalry, the hunt, religion, and education, as well as paintings that seem to offer images of the East as an alternative to modern industrial squalor, notably images of the desert, a theme and a landscape that also figures in the works of some travelers.

Although Gordon is about to be killed, the positioning of the white-clad figures on the stairs suggests, ironically, that they are kneeling to him. Jellelabad, January 13th, , where the center of the picture is held by a single figure, Dr. William Brydon, as apparently but not actually the sole survivor of the British retreat from Kabul. Retribution has a gigantic Britannia or Justice about to put a Bengal tiger to the sword; at her feet lie a dead white woman and a still-living child, while in the background an Oriental building to the right and a palm tree to the left indicate the Indian context.

John Frederick Lewis, The Harem , Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. A more miscellaneous group of paintings focuses on Oriental women in the harem, the Turkish bath, or the slave market, where exoticist Orientalism is the dominant feature. In these pictures, the main focus is on the woman, although there are also male figures: But to these topics of Victorian Orientalist painting must be added a miscellaneous collection of illustrations to various types of works. Kim criticizes the parochial nature of some forms of Christianity and can also be seen as a dramatization of the imperialistic science of ethnography.

First, many of his characters speak nonstandard English, indicating a new concern with class in imperial settings. Third, there is a new emphasis on the role of a certain type of education in creating the personnel necessary for fighting imperial wars and running British colonies, as demonstrated in the short-story collection Stalky and Co.

He does all this by ignoring military regulations when necessary, just as he had ignored or worked around school regulations in earlier stories. However, as Edward Said argues, the novel as a whole assumes the beneficent presence of the British Empire in India and presents a sanitized view of its history. Kim can enjoy all the pleasures of India as exotic adventure due to the pax Britannica of the Raj: How does he reason? Kipling is far from a simple jingoistic propagandist for empire; his loyalty to the imperial project was long lasting, but it did not preclude criticism or an awareness of the complexities of non-European peoples or places.

The early 20th century saw the development of several strands of Victorian Orientalism in the domains of literature, political discourse, and popular journalism. In literature and popular journalism, representations of non-European culture and peoples both continue standard negative Victorian images and offer new, more positive representations. Forman describes early 20th-century representations of the Chinese in the East End of London as divided between the stereotypes of the opium den and the dangerous, treacherous Chinese and a new, more positive, images.

However, a third of the way through the novel, the Westerner, Roger Melton, who has amassed a vast fortune in the East, and who has previously acted as a benefactor to the current Voivoide or ruler of the Land of the Blue Mountains by enabling him to keep his castle and estate, bequeaths the bulk of his fortune to his nephew, Rupert Saint Leger, on condition that he go and live in the castle. From this point on, Saint Leger becomes progressively more identified with the destiny of his adopted country.

The novel both exploits and undermines the identification of the east of Europe with the threateningly uncanny: There is no one work covering Orientalism in Victorian literature as a whole, or the genres of fiction or poetry. Empires Intertwined provide excellent starting points. British Literature and Imperialism, — , Peter L. Several works deal with the specifically Irish dimension of Orientalism, imperialism, and colonialism in the 19th century.

A Literary and Intellectual History is vast in scope, and contains chapters on 18th- and 19th-century literature, the interrelation of Ireland and India in the imperial period, and William Butler Yeats. From Trollope to Amis Emer Nolan in Catholic Emancipations: The Gothic Tradition from Burke to Beckett at times fails to establish such links convincingly, notably in the discussion of Oscar Wilde. In the fields of entertainment, the arts, and architecture, Richard D.

Favorite books with Victorian settings

History, Theory and the Arts covers both theater and the arts. Orientalism and Victorian Architecture offers a compelling overview of the topic. As with Victorian literature, there is no general study of Orientalism in Victorian travel writing or political discourse. English Women and the Middle East, —, Sexuality, Religion and Work offer differing approaches to Orientalist texts dealing with one important area.

European Thinkers on Oriental Despotism in the Middle East and India provides an excellent discussion of one dimension of imperialist Orientalism. The Shows of London. Harvard University Press, Cambridge University Press, Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, Stanford University Press, British Literature and Imperialism , — Cornell University Press, The British Empire and the Stage, — Manchester University Press, The Arabian Nights in English Literature: Orientalism and Victorian Architecture.

London and New York: Literature, Money and the Market: From Trollope to Amis. Elmarsafy, Ziad, et al. China and the Victorian Imagination: Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire. Terror and Irish Modernism: The Gothic Tradition from Burke to Beckett. State University of New York Press, A Literary and Intellectual History. Syracuse University Press, Race, Femininity and Representation. History, Theory and the Arts.

Ithaca, NY, and London: The Literature of British India.

Vanity Fair Reader’s Guide

From Empire to Orient: Travellers to the Middle East, — Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society. Harper and Row, Perera, Suvendrini, Reaches of Empire: The English Novel from Edgeworth to Dickens. Columbia University Press, Travel Writing and Transculturation 2d ed. India from Milton to Macaulay. The Rhetoric of Empire: The Rhetoric of English India. Chicago University Press, An Eighteenth-Century European Fantasy.

Thames and Hudson, The Orient on the Victorian Stage. Penguin, , 2, 3. Said, Orientalism , 8. Said, Orientalism , Said, Orientalism , 79, Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism London: Said, Culture , Ashgate, , Harper and Row, , 34, 35; see also 35— Ziad Elmarsafy et al. Palgrave Macmillan, , Rana Kabbani, Imperial Fictions: HarperCollins, , A Critical Introduction Cambridge, U.

Polity, , 37— Fictions of the East in England — Oxford: Oxford University Press, , n Ballaster, Fabulous Orients , See Ballaster, Fabulous Orients , Anxieties of Empire Cambridge, U. Cambridge University Press, , Quoted in Leask, Romantic Writers , Allegory and Literature of the City New York: Routledge, , 31, Joseph Lennon, Irish Orientalism: Macmillan, , 11— Emer Nolan, Catholic Emancipations: Syracuse University Press, , 3, 4, 5. Nolan, Catholic Emancipations , 3. Nolan, Catholic Emancipations , 25, Penguin, , 63, Macmillan, , , Penguin, , 58; Martin Chuzzlewit Oxford: Penguin, , Stanford University Press, , Charles Dickens, Great Expectations London: Penguin, , , n 5.

Dent, , — for the first; for the second see Household Words 11 April 28, Jordan and Nirshan Perera Farnham: Ashgate, , — Oxford University Press, , Dickens, Dombey and Son Oxford: Oxford University Press, , , Wordsworth, , 17—27 and — An Anthology , eds. Victor Shea and William Whitla Oxford: Edinburgh University Press, , — See Daniel Karlin, ed.

Valerie Kennedy

Chris Bongie, Exotic Memories: Stanford University Press, , 16— Bongie, Exotic Memories , See also Javadi, Persian Literary Influence , — Melancholy in Victorian Poetry Columbus: Ohio State University Press, , — See Javadi, Persian Literary Influence , — For commentary on some stanzas from different editions, see Javadi, Persian Literary Influence , — Publishing, , 34, 37, 63— For example, a number of poems from the collection include incidental Oriental imagery: Wordsworth, , 62, l.

Tennyson, Works , 10, ll. Thomas Y, Crowell, nd , 40, ll. Available online as a PDF ebook.

Orientalism in the Victorian Era - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature

In Orientalist Poetics Emily A. Norton, , 82— Women, Empire, and Victorian Writing London: Tennyson, Works , , ll. Tennyson, The Princess , in Works , , ll. Tennyson, Maud , in Works , , I. Tennyson, Maud , , 1. XX, , , 1. Ian Jack and Margaret Smith, vol. Clarendon Press, , , part 1, ll. Tennyson, Maud , in Works , , 1. See Tennyson, Works , —, —, — Religion and Politics in Iran London: Oneworld Books, , — Javadi, Persian Literary Influence , Kennethand Miriam Allott London: Longman, , — and 88— Arnold, Poems , —, 26—32, 67— Quoted in Arnold, Poems , n.

Stephen Greenblatt New York: Norton, , , l. Haddad, Orientalist Poetics , Arnold, Poems , , ll. See Arnold, Poems , — Javadi, Persian Literary Influence , — Most of these poems employ the Orientalist strategy of locating their subjects human and abstract in a mythical or historical past. Wordsworth, , 38—45, —, —, —, —, —, —, — Ohio University Press, , 61 for Luria.

Ian Jack and Rowena Fowler Oxford: Clarendon, , , act I, l. Browning, The Return of the Druses , Browning, Luria , , act I, ll. Browning, Luria , act I, , ll. Browning, Luria , , act II, ll.


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  • Browning, Luria , —, act III, ll. Browning, Luria , , act IV, ll. Browning, Luria , , in The Poetical Works , vol. Donna Landry, email to author, May 7, The poem was first published in , and then revised and republished both in and ; the version of the poem is the one discussed here. Oxford University Press, Much Victorian fiction and travel writing contains an element of European Orientalism in relation to places like the south of France, Italy, and Spain, sometimes in the past. Unfortunately, such works are beyond the scope of my discussion here.

    Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism , — London: Cornell University Press, , Dickens, Dombey and Son , See Brantlinger, Rule , 92, See Brantlinger, Rule , 97— Dickens, Dombey and Son , 91, , Penguin, , 58, Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood , Brantlinger, Rule , See Brantlinger, Rule , Cambridge University Press, , —; Chakravorty also discusses histories of the Mutiny, 19— Open Preview See a Problem?

    Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Book One of The Real Victorians Elias Wharton is a self-taught man with a keen eye for a deal living in Victorian England at a time when such men were changing the world. Both dashing and explosive, fair and vengeful, he plies his unusual trade in London, and pursues his obsessive interest in the beautiful Elizabeth. She has loathed him since a child for his lack of social Book One of The Real Victorians Elias Wharton is a self-taught man with a keen eye for a deal living in Victorian England at a time when such men were changing the world.

    She has loathed him since a child for his lack of social status and meddlesome ways. Intrigue, deception, occultism, and sex entwine to set the stage for the stunning conclusion. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Merchant Of Virtue , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Dec 21, LReeve rated it really liked it.

    Like all good main characters, Eli has an obsession; Elizabeth, the haughty daughter of a gentleman. Elizabeth gets herself into trouble, and with the help of interesting London characters, Eli tries to rescue her. You might guess how this is going to end, however, Eastonfield seems averse to being predictable, and their situation at the end is surprising.