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Labyrinths of DeceitCulture, Modernity and Identity in the Nineteenth Century$
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Richard J. Walker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238492

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315404

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Tracing the fragments of modernity

(p.1) Introduction
Labyrinths of Deceit
Liverpool University Press

This book explores the interaction between crisis and modernity in nineteenth-century England as articulated by Isobel Armstrong in her radical rethinking of the political and subversive elements of Victorian poetry. It considers three phenomena found in Victorian literature that seem to imply the collapse of a cohesive identity in nineteenth-century modernity: split personality, religious crisis, and addiction. It also looks at the Gothic novels of Oscar Wilde, James Hogg, and Robert Louis Stevenson and discusses the escalating instability of religion during the period, along with the impact of the decentring of religion upon individual identity. In addition, the book analyses instances of addictions, either literal or implicit, in the works of Alfred Tennyson, Thomas De Quincey, and Christina Rossetti.

Keywords:   Isobel Armstrong, crisis, modernity, identity, split personality, religious crisis, addiction, religion, Victorian literature, gothic novels

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