Beautiful Boredom

Idleness and Feminine Self-Realization in the Victorian Novel


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SKU: 9780786445554 Categories: , ,

About the Book

This volume explores boredom as a possible force for good in the Victorian novel. In Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1871-72), and Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1881), boredom is an important means through which female characters are able to achieve a greater sense of self-awareness. In her discussion of these works, the author examines both the deleterious and restorative aspects of boredom and shows how this subtle theme has continued to be used by more modern authors.

About the Author(s)

Lee Anna Maynard is a freelance writer and independent scholar in Martinez, Georgia. As an assistant professor of English, she produced articles on adventure and sensation novels.

Bibliographic Details

Lee Anna Maynard
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 198
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4555-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5473-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface: Discovering the Boring      1

Introduction      5

1. Avoiding the Boring: Boredom, Beauty, and Narrative in Jane Eyre      19

2. The Complexion of Boredom in Middlemarch      72

3. Life on a Grecian Urn: Boredom, Beauty, and Stasis in The Portrait of a Lady      119

4. “The Proper Stuff of Fiction”—A Look Forward      148

Postscript: Boredom’s Beauty: Victorian Visual Representations of a Pervasive Mental State      166

Works Cited      183

Index      187