Common Scents: Comparative Encounters in High-Victorian Fiction

Common Scents: Comparative Encounters in High-Victorian Fiction

Common Scents: Comparative Encounters in High-Victorian Fiction by Janice Carlisle
English | Feb. 19, 2004 | ISBN: 0195165098 | 232 Pages | PDF | 2 MB

Who smells? Surveying nearly eighty novels written in the 1860s to answer that impolite question, Common Scents provides a new reading of Victorian values, particularly as they assess the relative merits of men and women, spirit and matter. In depictions of comparative encounters, the commonplace meetings of everyday life, such fiction often registers the inequalities that distinguish one individual from another by marking one of them with a smell. In a surprisingly consistent fashion, these references constitute what cultural anthropologists call an osmology, a system of differentiations that reveals the status within a particular culture of the persons and things associated with specific odors.


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