Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging in Nineteenth-Century Culture by Anne-Julia Zwierlein,Katharina Boehm,Anna Farkas Book Resume:
This essay collection develops new perspectives on constructions of old age in literary, legal, scientific and periodical cultures of the nineteenth century. Rigorously interdisciplinary, the book places leading researchers of old age in nineteenth-century literature in dialogue with experts from the fields of cultural, legal and social history. It revisits the origins of many modern debates about aging in the nineteenth century – a period that saw the emergence of cultural and scientific frameworks for the understanding of old age that continue to be influential today. The contributors provide fresh readings of canonical texts by Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy, Henry James and others. The volume builds momentum in the burgeoning field of aging studies. It argues that the study of old age in the nineteenth century has entered a new and distinctly interdisciplinary phase that is characterized by a set of research interests that are currently shared across a range of disciplines and that explore conceptions of old age in the nineteenth century by privileging, respectively, questions of agency, of place, of gender and sexuality, and of narrative and aesthetic form.