Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel” as Want to Read:
Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Desire and Domestic Fiction argues that far from being removed from historical events, novels by writers from Richardson to Woolf were themselves agents of the rise of the middle class. Drawing on texts that range from 18th-century female conduct books and contract theory to modern psychoanalytic case histories and theories of reading, Armstrong shows that the emergence of ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 22nd 1990 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1987)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Desire and Domestic Fiction, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Desire and Domestic Fiction

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 237)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Rochelle
Armstrong argues that sexual perversion in domestic spaces in Victorian novels reflects the political upheaval and social unrest of the period. The transformation of the political/social into the sexual is a universalizing gesture. She uses Foucault to argue for the socially constructed nature of desire.
Erica
Armstrong argues that the middle class domestic WOMAN is the INDIVIDUAL par excellence of the 18c and 19c--the domestic woman is the individual that Watt argues that the novel creates. She looks at conduct books and domestic fiction for how these discourses form GENDER and SEXUAL IDENTITY as the identity categories that "matter most"--building off of Foucault and his argument that the 18c and 19c see a sexual revolution in cultural monitoring/policing of sexual behavior. Although Armstrong's arg ...more
sdw
Desire and Domestic Fiction assigns a lot of historical agency to 19th century domestic fiction, and especially to the women who wrote such novels, and the female subjects at the center of those novels. Armstrong argues that these novels produced the modern subject and produced that subject as specifically female. As she asserts, “writing for and about the female introduced a whole new vocabulary for social relations” (4). The novels (starting with Richardson’s Pamela), which drew first on cond ...more
Molly
This is probably my favorite academic book and has really clarified a lot of my thinking about my thesis project. So interesting that I ended up reading pretty much every word. I even ended up telling Vincent about it because I was reminded of his work on the Supreme Court and its influence on language. Also: more justification for not underestimating the Brontës.
Victoria
This book confused and frustrated me enormously. What, exactly, is "domestic fiction"? It is never clearly defined, but the term is used from the opening sentence as though it were already understood by the reader. Armstrong's writing took a great deal of effort to read and follow, and her arguments often didn't make sense to me.
Jessica
This is a great look at historical novels, particulary from the 18th and 19th centuries in England, and the implications of how they both reflected and created women's roles in the home and in society. It also addresses acceptable expressions and conceptions of desire. It's much more interesting than my blurb right here sounds.
Alexis
Another great text for examining gender roles, identity and politics in Victorian England.
Mickslibrarian
Mickslibrarian marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2015
Sue Davis
Sue Davis is currently reading it
Mar 26, 2015
Lisa Redmond
Lisa Redmond marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
Kristen
Kristen marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2015
Anushree Thareja
Anushree Thareja marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Lindsey O'Neil
Lindsey O'Neil marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2015
Lauren
Lauren added it
Jan 01, 2015
Terka Kalousková
Terka Kalousková marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2014
Stacey Camp
Stacey Camp marked it as to-read
Dec 22, 2014
Kate Elliott
Kate Elliott marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2014
Fernanda
Fernanda marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2014
Evan
Evan marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2014
Shayda
Shayda added it
Oct 28, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Rise of the Novel
  • The Country and the City
  • Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire
  • A Literature Of Their Own: British Women Novelists From Brontë To Lessing
  • The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination
  • Love and Death in the American Novel
  • Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England
  • The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory
  • The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in Britain: 1789-1837
  • The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre
  • Victorian People and Ideas
  • Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature
  • Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method
  • Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History
  • The Historical Novel
  • Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel
  • On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection
  • The Political Unconscious
How Novels Think: The Limits of Individualism from 1719-1900 Notes from the Underground: The Most Outrageous Stories from the Alternative Press Fiction in the Age of Photography: The Legacy of British Realism The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: The History and Lore of the World's Most Famous Evergreen The Imaginary Puritan: Literature, Intellectual Labor, and the Origins of Personal Life

Share This Book