Legitimacy and Illegitimacy in Nineteenth-Century Law, Literature and History (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture)

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9780230576520: Legitimacy and Illegitimacy in Nineteenth-Century Law, Literature and History (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture)
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This innovative collection of essays by prominent scholars from the disciplines of literary studies, history and law explores the many ways in which notions of legtitimacy were shaped and contested in Georgian and Victorian Britain.  It probes the difficulties of drawing boundaries between the legitimate and the illegitimate which continued to trouble Victorian society and which were explored in novels such as Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White. 
 
The essays in this collection show how dilemmas over legitimacy unsettled families by challenging clear lines of inheritence; they also unsettles society, as forgers and imposters defrauded individuals, estates and institutions through widely publicised social performances which fascinated both contemporary culture and called into question the idea of legitimacy itself.

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'...several of the essays offer interesting and worthwhile material... Perhaps, most appealing to literary scholars will be Jo McDonagh's 'On Settling and Being Unsettled: Legitimacy and Settlement around 1850'. A subtle analysis of the languages of settlement in George Coode's 1851 parliamentary report on the New Poor Law and Charles Dickens' 1852-3 novel Bleak House, this essay exemplifies interdisciplinary scholarship at its best.' - Routledge ABES June 2011

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Ranging across literature, history and law, this book explores the diverse meanings and uses of ideas of legitimacy and illegitimacy in nineteenth century culture

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9781349366392: Legitimacy and Illegitimacy in Nineteenth-Century Law, Literature and History (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture)

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