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Explores Victorian writers' erotic investment with statues Theorises the function of the sculptural body in Victorian poetry and proseOffers thorough readings of sculpture in Victorian texts and contextsExamines a wide range of works by well-known and lesser-known writers of the period (e.g.
Thomas Hardy, John Ruskin, Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee, Olive Custance, Arthur O'Shaughnessy)Extends the British focus to encompass nineteenth-century European and American writings This book argues that, in Victorian literature, transgressive desires that cannot be openly acknowledged are often buried and encrypted in the marble bodies of statues.
Examining sculpture's ubiquity in Victorian galleries and museums, Pulham observes that while touch is prohibited in these cultural locations Victorian texts offer 'safe' spaces where sculptures may be kissed or caressed using metaphors of tactility that work at the intersections of touch and vision and permit the recovery of forbidden love.
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