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Title: Mathilde Blind's contribution to Victorian cosmopolitanism
Author: Hill, Ulrike Ina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 9135
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2015
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Blind's autonomous cosmopolitanism is in four distinct layers. The first layer is her unusual everyday family background in the transition from Jewish tradition to the life of European revolutionaries in the 1840s and exile in Britain. The second layer is Blind's mental and moral development under Friederike's care and educational guidance according to the German concept of Bildung. The third layer comes from Mazzini's challenge for Blind to critically evaluate her German cultural heritage and the moral danger in the well-intended German concept of self-cultivation. Blind derives the fourth layer of her autonomous cosmopolitanism from Darwin's theory of evolution and Buckle's argument for a scientific approach to history. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection postulates sexual autonomy of the individual organism as a pre-condition for evolution by natural selection. Buckle's argument for a scientific approach to the study of history extends this concept by observing that the variety of geographical conditions around the globe gives rise to a diversity of cultures. The concept of social evolution is then anchored in the nature of interdependence between the individual and her society as it changes over time. Overall, my argument is that Blind's contribution to Victorian cosmopolitanism is to write about controversial subjects and to transcend ideological polarizations. She does this by transferring socio-political topics from the public domain into the intimacy of making "an immediate sensuous contact" with the individual reader. Her aim is to touch her reader's heart and to trust in her reader's ability and social will to care rather than to teach her about the individual poet's particular ideas of what should be done to solve problems.
Supervisor: Gagnier, Regenia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Victorian, cosmopolitanism, poetry, novel, biography, translation, woman, Darwin, scientific discourse, religious discourse, scepticism, social evolution, autonomy