Linda H. Peterson (essay date 1986)
SOURCE: Peterson, Linda H. “Introduction: The Hermeneutic Imperative.” In Victorian Autobiography: The Tradition of Self-Interpretation, pp. 1-28. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986.
[In the following excerpt, Peterson defines Victorian autobiography as principally a hermeneutic and interpretive, rather than a representative, genre and surveys its literary origins in the spiritual autobiographies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.]
When John Ruskin traveled abroad for the first time without his parents, his mother slipped a copy of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners into his satchel. “What made you put that funny book of John...
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