secrecy {fragments}

~ musings on secrecy ~

Victorian secrecy

I ran across a fascinating book a few months back titled Victorian Secrecy: Economies of Knowledge and Concealment edited by Albert D. Pionke and Denise Tischler Millstein (Ashgate, 2010).  Students of secrecy will be interested in the book for its investigation of secrecy in Victorian literature (Bleak House and Woman in White, for example), but also for insights on secrecy and privacy as viewed by the Victorians in their personal lives and within the public sphere. There is much recovery of history in this volume;  as Pionke writes “secrets actively and successfully concealed risk becoming secrets passively forgotten in the absence of their original keepers” (p.11).

Essays include new perspectives on British burial reform from internment in neighborhoods to the formal construction of cemeteries (Hoglund) and the Victorian Home Office censorship of  “indecent publications” regarding homosexuality (Wee). Victorian Secrecy is a great read on Victorian sensibilities and what may be considered a closed [secret] society.


Written by S.

November 13, 2012 at 4:41 am