This volume explores the depiction of ancient Egypt in nineteenth-century literature. It addresses themes such as reanimated mummies, mythology, and consumer culture across a range of literary forms, from burlesque satire to historical novels, stage performances to Gothic fiction, and popular culture to the elite productions of the aesthetes and decadents.
Assembling scholars with a variety of backgrounds and interests, the book presents previously unknown sources of historical significance, including the first illustration of an ambulatory mummy. It revises our understanding of canonical Victorian writers such as George Eliot and Oscar Wilde, while shedding light on understudied figures, including Charles Wells, Louisa Stuart Costello and Guy Boothby. It also looks beyond British literature to America and Europe, exploring the presentation of Egyptian themes in Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and others. These writers are united by the way they use ancient Egypt to interrogate 'selfhood' and 'otherness', or to question notions of race, imperialism, religion, gender and sexuality.
Revealing the full range of cultural interest in ancient Egypt that flourished during Victoria's reign, the volume will appeal to students and scholars in literary studies, history and the visual arts, particularly those working on gender, race, religion, archaeology and Egyptology.
About the Author
Eleanor Dobson is Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature at the University of Birmingham