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Title: Censorship in late nineteenth century Britain
Author: Wong, Marcelle
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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In his 1859 work, On Liberty, John Stuart Mill asserts that ‘[i] in our times, from the highest class of society down to the lowest, every one lives as under the eye of a hostile and dreaded censorship.’ For Mill, this censorship was implemented not by official institutions, but by social opprobrium, by a less explicit, but no less devastating public opinion. My thesis provides an account of late nineteenth century censorship that does not rely on traditional dichotomised models. These models present censorship as a Manichaean struggle between an aggressive regulatory mechanism that is more diffused and mobile than such rigid binaries suggest. I look at instances of censorship in literature, the visual arts, and other disciplinary fields, placing them in wider social, political, cultural, and intellectual contexts. I take into account recent scholarship which has challenged traditional models on theoretical grounds. These recent developments are useful for investigating particular instances of censorship, but conversely, these instances, despite their specificity, can also provide insights into, and elucidation of, the theories themselves. By moving beyond a state understanding of censorship as silencing and repression, I redress conventional assumptions about Victorian society and popular myths of a draconian regime, while also reassessing the concept of censorship itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available