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Om Full-Bodied Society
The human body is always changing its meanings. Historical research on this can draw on a host of specialisms. Historians, lettrists and linguists contribute to this book a coherent little tumult of perspectives: what was thinkable for pagan and Christian Anglo-Saxons, and how far did the two really differ? Why did New English Puritans stop addressing God as if He were their breast-feeding Mother? How did Western colonisers' perspectives on animals and on 'subject races' interact? How did Victorian and Edwardian women's participation in sports grow? How transgressive was the figure of the 'dandy'? What motivated late-Victorian panics over prostitution, and on what terms were victims helped? Why, in an increasingly 'democratic' age, did reactions to Britain's first universal health-measure become a basis for cynicism about the masses?Repeatedly, the rigidity of separation between male and female fluctuated, as did the boundaries themselves. Sometimes, the greater the rigidity, the less the sources may tell us of resistance to them. But sometimes this can be inferred indirectly.Better testimony than this volume to the liveliness and variety of body-studies is hard to imagine.