Nineteenth-Century Sanitation Reform Criticism: Public Health In Literature - Essay

Karen Sanchez-Eppler (essay date March 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sanchez-Eppler, Karen. “Decomposing: Wordsworth's Poetry of Epitaph and English Burial Reform.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 42, no. 2 (March 1988): 415-31.

[In the following essay, Sanchez-Eppler links Wordsworth's graveyard poetry and his Essay upon Epitaphs to the movement for burial reform, noting Wordsworth's insistence on recognizing the decay and physical reality of death, in contrast to the reformers' efforts to “sanitize” death literally and emotionally.]

Then did the little Maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”
“You run about, my little maid,

(The entire section is 6460 words.)

Graham Benton (essay date February 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Benton, Graham. “‘And Dying Thus around Us Every Day’: Pathology, Ontology, and the Discourse of the Diseased Body. A Study of Illness and Contagion in Bleak House.Dickens Quarterly 11, no. 2 (February 1994): 69-80.

[In the following essay, Benton examines the correlation between illness and such issues as justice and progress in Dickens' Bleak House. Benton argues that disease functions in unpredictable and contrary ways, defining society and underscoring societal boundaries, but also existing beyond such boundaries and in some cases breaking them down.]

There was a seeming propensity or a wicked inclination in those...

(The entire section is 6018 words.)

David Carroll (essay date 1995)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Carroll, David. “Pollution, Defilement and the Art of Decomposition.” In Ruskin and Environment: The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century, edited by Michael Wheeler, pp. 58-75. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995.

[In the following essay, Carroll comments on how Ruskin's portrayal of an Eden defiled by humanity reflects his ambivalence about modern life. Carroll employs the insights of anthropologist Mary Douglas on pollution and the sacred while critiquing excerpts from several of Ruskin's nonfictional works.]


Ruskin is one of the great Victorian systematisers in an age of comprehensive, at times eccentric,...

(The entire section is 7688 words.)

Tim Fulford and Debbie Lee (essay date spring 2000)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fulford, Tim, and Debbie Lee. “The Jenneration of Disease: Vaccination, Romanticism, and Revolution.” Studies in Romanticism 39, no. 1 (spring 2000): 139-63.

[In the following essay, Fulford and Lee focus on how the vaccination debate prompted by the small pox research of Edward Jenner resonated with the concerns of Romantic pastoral poetry and, in turn, the class divisions of early nineteenth-century society. In particular, the authors emphasize Jenner's relationship with the rural poet Robert Bloomfield.]

In 1798, Britain was preparing for invasion by French revolutionary armies. To the government and the press it seemed ill-prepared to defend itself. The...

(The entire section is 9998 words.)