By J. McMaster
McMaster's vigorous research appears on the numerous codes in which Eighteenth-century novelists made the minds in their characters legible via their our bodies. She tellingly explores the discourses of drugs, physiognomy, gesture and facial features, thoroughly typical to modern readers yet to not us, in ways in which enhance our examining of such classics as Clarissa and Tristram Shandy , in addition to of novels by means of Fanny Burney, Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen.
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Additional info for Reading the Body in the Eighteenth-Century Novel
164). But though Roderick manages to save Rattlin’s leg, other junk, other human waste, accumulates. 187). These vessels are essentially only extended body bags for the disposal of human garbage. 189). Roderick’s (and Smollett’s) indignation here is fierce and real, and his very physical conception of human character becomes a telling rhetorical weapon. For he sees this process of purging 14 Reading the Body as quite deliberate. 186). Roderick, though here still cast in the role of doctor, himself becomes a part of what is being flushed through the system and discarded.
In short, Belford, I have gained my end,” he reports triumphantly. “I see the dear soul loves me” (677). Lovelace has some medical artillery of his own. Perhaps because they have been subject to medical artillery, Richardson’s characters, and Burney’s too, become adept at using their diseases as weapons, or at least as instruments of manipulation. Clarissa’s father rules over his family with an iron hand, partly because he wields the threat that anyone who crosses him will bring about the dread catastrophe of throwing the gout upon his stomach (Cl, 109).
Humour, after all,” says Virginia Woolf, “is closely bound up with a sense of the body” (Woolf 56). Tristram Shandy certainly has both humour and a sense of the body, and in the highest degree. 5). Already in the second chapter the emphasis is anatomical. And by the time we get to Ernulphus’s curse, we encounter a zestful attempt at exhaustiveness on physiological matters that is truly encyclopaedic. —May he be cursed in his brains, and in his vertex,” (that is a sad curse, quoth my father) “in his temples, in his forehead, in his ears, in his eye-brows, in his cheeks, in his jaw-bones, in his nostrils, in his foreteeth and grinders, in his lips, in his throat, in his shoulders, in his wrists, in his arms, in his hands, in his fingers.
Reading the Body in the Eighteenth-Century Novel by J. McMaster