Shows that Foucault's later essays on liberalism and "governmentality" provide better critical tools for understanding the nineteenth-century British state.
In this manuscript, Lauren Goodlad looks at Victorian literature as the means for a post-Foucauldian study of Victorian culture, arguing that Victorian Britain was a liberal society. She explores diverse works of Victorian literature as they converged with major developments in the modernization of the British state. In so doing, she relays literature's relation to developments that have long occupied social historians including poor law, sanitary, educational, and civil service reforms, and the substitution of organized charity for the state. Each chapter takes up a contentious aspect of the Victorian state, linking debates over governance to major works by Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, John Stuart Mills, and others.
Preface1. Beyond the Panopticon: The Critical Challenge of a Liberal Society2. Making the Working Man Like Me: Charity, the Novel, and the New Poor Law3. Is There a Pastor in the House? Sanitary Reform and Governing Agency in Dickens's Midcentury Fiction4. An Officer and a Gentleman: Civil Service Reform and the Early Career of Anthony Trollope5. A Riddle without an Answer: Character and Education in Our Mutual Friend6. Dueling Pastors, Dueling WorldviewsEpilogue: Social SecurityNotesWorks CitedIndex