The Ends of History: Victorians and “The Woman Question"
The Victorians' passion for history was equalled perhaps only by their fascination with "woman", manifested as a ceaseless posing of "the woman question". In this book Christina Crosby argues that each of these obsessions entails the other, that the construction of middle-class Victorian "man" as the universal subject of history necessitated the placing of "woman" as an entity before, beyond, above or below history. In a discussion of key Victorian novels and non-literary texts, Crosby demonstrates the intermeshing of "history" and "the woman question". Her investigations range from philosophy and the philosophical novel - "Daniel Deronda" and Hegel's "Philosophy of History" - to the historical novel and the writing of history "proper" - "Henry Esmond" and Macauley's "History of England", from melodrama and social studies - Wilkie Collins' "The Frozen Deep", "Little Dorrit" and Henry Mayhew's "History of the People" to theology, aesthetics and autobiographical fiction - "Villette" , Patrick Fairbairn's "The Typology of Scripture" and Ruskin's "Modern Painters". This book should be of interest to students and teachers of English literature, social history and women's studies.