Catherine Gallagher

Catherine Gallagher is a professor of English at Berkeley. The Body Economic: Life, Death and Sensation in Political Economy and the Victorian Novel will be published by Princeton.

Travels without My Aunt: the 18th-century family

Catherine Gallagher, 3 November 2005

The English family, it’s thought, did not change rapidly or radically during the early modern period. Most English people in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries lived in what demographers call ‘simple’ households: a married couple, their dependent children and sometimes their servants – a ‘nuclear’ family, in short, rather than a complex or extended one. Like...

Ye must all be alike

Catherine Gallagher, 27 January 1994

The reign of James I has long been considered a period in which patriarchal orthodoxy revived in an especially virulent form to counteract 45 years of female rule. Barbara Kiefer Lewalski quotes King James’s advice to his son to illustrate what she frequently calls the era’s ‘dominant ideology’:

Why is luck good or bad, an incentive to gambling, while chance seems weirdly neutral? And what was it like in the old days when Fortune played a larger role in ordinary consciousness, taking up quite...

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New historicism was a 1980s thing, a literary critical movement that took shape on the West Coast, becoming established there and elsewhere as what one could talk about after having talked for...

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Old Verities

Brian Harrison, 19 June 1986

Suddenly the Victorians have become controversial again. This is not because a new Lytton Strachey has sprung up in our midst, but because Mrs Thatcher – who polarises public opinion more...

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