Victorians Undone : Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum, Hardback

Victorians Undone : Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum Hardback


A groundbreaking account of what it was like to live in a Victorian body from one of our best historians, author of The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton and George Eliot: The Last Victorian.

Why did the great philosophical novelist George Eliot feel so self-conscious that her right hand was larger than her left?

Exactly what made Darwin grow that iconic beard in 1862, a good five years after his contemporaries had all retired their razors?

Who knew Queen Victoria had a personal hygiene problem as a young woman and the crisis that followed led to a hurried commitment to marry Albert?

What did John Sell Cotman, a handsome drawing room operator who painted some of the most exquisite watercolours the world has ever seen, feel about marrying a woman whose big nose made smart people snigger?

How did a working-class child called Fanny Adams disintegrate into pieces in 1867 before being reassembled into a popular joke, one we still reference today, but would stop, appalled, if we knew its origins?Kathryn Hughes follows a thickened index finger or deep baritone voice into the realms of social history, medical discourse, aesthetic practise and religious observance - its language is one of admiring glances, cruel sniggers, an implacably turned back.

The result is an eye-opening, deeply intelligent, groundbreaking account that brings the Victorians back to life and helps us understand how they lived their lives.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780007548361



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