Imagining Monsters: Miscreations of the Self in Eighteenth-century England (Paperback)
  • Imagining Monsters: Miscreations of the Self in Eighteenth-century England (Paperback)
zoom

Imagining Monsters: Miscreations of the Self in Eighteenth-century England (Paperback)

(author)
£28.00
Paperback 358 Pages / Published: 09/11/1995
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
In 1726, an illiterate woman from Surrey named Mary Toft announced that she had given birth to 17 rabbits. Deceiving respected physicians and citizens alike, she created a hoax that held England spellbound for months. This study recreates the story of this incident and shows how it illuminates 18th-century beliefs about the power of imagination and the problems of personal identity. Mary Toft's outrageous claim was accepted because of a common belief that the imagination of a pregnant woman could deform her foetus, creating a monster within her. Drawing on material from medicine, embryology, philosophy and popular "monster" exhibitions, Todd shows that such ideas about monstrous births expressed a fear central to scientific, literary and philosophical thinking: that the imagination could transgress the barrier between mind and body. In his analysis of the Toft case, Todd exposes deep anxieties about the threat this transgressive imagination posed to the idea of the self as stable, coherent and autonomous. Major works of Pope and Swift reveal that they, too, were concerned with these issues, and this study provides discussions of "Gulliver's Travels" and "The Dunciad" illustrating how these writers used images of monstrosity to explore the problematic nature of human identity. It also includes a provocative analysis of Pope's later work that takes into account his physical deformity and his need to defend himself in a society that linked a deformed body with a deformed character.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226805566
Number of pages: 358
Weight: 482 g
Dimensions: 229 x 142 x 21 mm

You may also be interested in...

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Added to basket
Battle Scars
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Notes on Nationalism
Added to basket
The Perils of Perception
Added to basket
Inferior
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Behave
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.99
Paperback
Talking with Female Serial Killers
Added to basket
The Examined Life
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Why Buddhism is True
Added to basket
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Lonely City
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Why We Sleep
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
The Descent of Man
Added to basket
The Language of Kindness
Added to basket
The Science of Meditation
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.