New Release Books by Deborah Lutz

Deborah Lutz is the author of Victorian Paper Art and Craft (2022), Relics of Death in Victorian Literature and Culture (2017), The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects (2015), Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism (2011) and , The Dangerous Lover (2006).

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Victorian Paper Art and Craft

release date: Oct 20, 2022
Victorian Paper Art and Craft
Studies the way that authors in nineteenth-century Britain used the materials of writing (and reading, drawing, note-taking, and handicraft) for inspiration, experimentation, subordination, and creative composition, with a focus on Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Mary Shelley.

Relics of Death in Victorian Literature and Culture

release date: Jul 13, 2017
Relics of Death in Victorian Literature and Culture
Nineteenth-century Britons treasured objects of daily life that had once belonged to their dead. The love of these keepsakes, which included hair, teeth, and other remains, speaks of an intimacy with the body and death, a way of understanding absence through its materials, which is less widely felt today. Deborah Lutz analyzes relic culture as an affirmation that objects held memories and told stories. These practices show a belief in keeping death vitally intertwined with life - not as memento mori but rather as respecting the singularity of unique beings. In a consumer culture in full swing by the 1850s, keepsakes of loved ones stood out as non-reproducible, authentic things whose value was purely personal. Through close reading of the works of Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, and others, this study illuminates the treasuring of objects that had belonged to or touched the dead.

The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects

release date: May 11, 2015
The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects
An intimate portrait of the lives and writings of the Brontë sisters, drawn from the objects they possessed. In this unique and lovingly detailed biography of a literary family that has enthralled readers for nearly two centuries, Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz illuminates the complex and fascinating lives of the Brontës through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed. By unfolding the histories of the meaningful objects in their family home in Haworth, Lutz immerses readers in a nuanced re-creation of the sisters'' daily lives while moving us chronologically forward through the major biographical events: the death of their mother and two sisters, the imaginary kingdoms of their childhood writing, their time as governesses, and their determined efforts to make a mark on the literary world. From the miniature books they made as children to the blackthorn walking sticks they carried on solitary hikes on the moors, each personal possession opens a window onto the sisters'' world, their beloved fiction, and the Victorian era. A description of the brass collar worn by Emily’s bull mastiff, Keeper, leads to a series of entertaining anecdotes about the influence of the family’s dogs on their writing and about the relationship of Victorians to their pets in general. The sisters'' portable writing desks prove to have played a crucial role in their writing lives: it was Charlotte''s snooping in Emily’s desk that led to the sisters'' first publication in print, followed later by the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Charlotte''s letters provide insight into her relationships, both innocent and illicit, including her relationship with the older professor to whom she wrote passionately. And the bracelet Charlotte had made of Anne and Emily''s intertwined hair bears witness to her profound grief after their deaths. Lutz captivatingly shows the Brontës anew by bringing us deep inside the physical world in which they lived and from which their writings took inspiration.

Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism

release date: Feb 14, 2011
Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism
A smart, provocative account of the erotic current running just beneath the surface of a stuffy and stifling Victorian London. At the height of the Victorian era, a daring group of artists and thinkers defied the reigning obsession with propriety, testing the boundaries of sexual decorum in their lives and in their work. Dante Gabriel Rossetti exhumed his dead wife to pry his only copy of a manuscript of his poems from her coffin. Legendary explorer Richard Burton wrote how-to manuals on sex positions and livened up the drawing room with stories of eroticism in the Middle East. Algernon Charles Swinburne visited flagellation brothels and wrote pornography amid his poetry. By embracing and exploring the taboo, these iconoclasts produced some of the most captivating art, literature, and ideas of their day. As thought-provoking as it is electric, Pleasure Bound unearths the desires of the men and women who challenged buttoned-up Victorian mores to promote erotic freedom. These bohemians formed two loosely overlapping societies—the Cannibal Club and the Aesthetes—to explore their fascinations with sexual taboo, from homosexuality to the eroticization of death. Known as much for their flamboyant personal lives as for their controversial masterpieces, they created a scandal-provoking counterculture that paved the way for such later figures as Gustav Klimt, Virginia Woolf, and Jean Genet. In this stunning exposé of the Victorian London we thought we knew, Deborah Lutz takes us beyond the eyebrow-raising practices of these sex rebels, revealing how they uncovered troubles that ran beneath the surface of the larger social fabric: the struggle for women’s emancipation, the dissolution of formal religions, and the pressing need for new forms of sexual expression.

The Dangerous Lover

release date: Jan 01, 2006
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