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Publication Date: 2007
Publisher: Lehigh Univ Pr
"The Wunderkammer of Lady Charlotte Guest examines the life of a truly extraordinary Victorian woman, Lady Charlotte Guest Schreiber. Lady Charlotte learned Welsh in order to provide the first complete translation of the Mabinogion; ran her late husband's ironmongery until her eldest son attained his majority; then married a man fourteen years her junior and enjoyed a distinguished career as a collector of porcelain, playing cards, and fans. Although Lady Charlotte's biography is fascinating in its own right, the scholarly emphasis of this book centers on how the impulse to collect informed her translations and her journals, as well as her later catalogues. Using the theories of Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Mieke Bol, Susan Miller, and Susan Pierce, this book examines how collecting allowed Lady Charlotte to create a series of private signifying systems that often countered the prevailing Victorian discourse assigned to women." "Lady Charlotte's translation of the Mabinogion opens a window into several important nineteenth-century intellectual issues. It sheds light on the interrelationships among antiquarianism, philosophy, folklore collection, and children's literature that underlie the works of such seminal creators of the Victorian fairy tale as the Brothers Grimm." "Lady Charlotte's porcelain collections open a window into a different, but related, world: that of such nineteenth-century collectors as Anna Jameson and Joseph Marryat. Lady Charlotte is routinely considered to be a connoisseur on a par with these figures, yet her earlier history as a translator makes her work a unique opportunity to explore how a collection functions as a signifying system - an area of literary criticism explored by Walter Benjamin and Jean Baudrillard. This study extends Benjamin's and Baudrillard's ideas to an examination of Lady Charlotte's original journals and papers - considering them in the context of a major, but often overlooked, form of literary collection: the commonplace book."--BOOK JACKET.Erica Obey is the author of 'The Wunderkammer of Lady Charlotte Guest', published 2007 under ISBN 9780934223881 and ISBN 0934223882.
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