Victorians Undone by Kathryn Hughes
Tales of the flesh in the age of decorum
This fascinating book in Kathryn Hughes's inimitable style sheds new light on Victorians from across the social spectrum. The five subjects are Lady Flora Hastings, one of Victoria's court ladies falsely suspected of being pregnant when in fact she was dying; Charles Darwin and his beard, as well as numerous other Victorian men who joined the fashion for growing beards in the 1860s; George Eliot and her right hand, which may or may not have been larger than her left; Fanny Cornforth and her liaisons with the pre-Raphaelites and the untimely death of the child, Fanny Adams.
Hughes has discovered some marvellous new material about all her subjects which she delivers with her usual humour combined with scrupulous scholarship. She delivered the first Adams Lecture earlier in 2017 based on this book.
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