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    Charles Kingsley's 'Hypatia', visual culture and Late-Victorian gender politics

    Mills, Victoria (2020) Charles Kingsley's 'Hypatia', visual culture and Late-Victorian gender politics. Journal of Victorian Culture 25 (2), pp. 240-263. ISSN 1355-5502.

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    Charles Kingsley’s Hypatia or New Foes with an Old Face was first published in Fraser’s Magazine in 1852, but was reissued in numerous book editions in the late-nineteenth century. Though often viewed as a novel depicting the religious controversies of the 1850s, Kingsley’s depiction of the life and brutal death of a strong female figure from late antiquity also sheds light on the way in which the Victorians remodeled ancient histories to explore shifting gender roles at the fin de siècle. As the book gained in popularity towards the end of the century, it was reimagined in many different cultural forms. This article demonstrates how Kingsley’s Hypatia became a global, multi-media fiction of antiquity, how it was revisioned and consumed in different written, visual and material forms (book illustrations, a play, painting and sculpture) and how this reimagining functioned within the gender politics of the 1880s and 90s. Kingsley’s novel retained a strong hold on the late-Victorian imagination, I argue, because the perpetual restaging of Hypatia’s story through different media facilitated the circulation of pressing fin-de-siècle debates about women’s education, women’s rights, and female consumerism.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for
    Depositing User: Vicky Mills
    Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 13:34
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:47

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    • Charles Kingsley's 'Hypatia', visual culture and Late-Victorian gender politics. (deposited 21 Oct 2019 13:34) [Currently Displayed]


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