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The Sculptural Body in Victorian Literature – Encrypted Sexualities - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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The Sculptural Body in Victorian Literature: Encrypted Sexualities

Patricia Pulham


This book contends that, in Victorian literature, transgressive desires that cannot be openly acknowledged – whether these be homosexuality, pygmalionism, necrophilia, or paedophilia – are often embedded and encrypted in sculptures. The three-dimensionality of the sculptural body, its ubiquity in Victorian popular culture, its increasing visibility in public galleries, and the full or partial nudity of classical statues on display are some of the key reasons that underpin this phenomenon. It argues that, in such literature, sculpture often functions as a form of textual ‘Secretum’ in which for ... More

Keywords: Sculpture, sexuality, vision, museum, gallery, object, classical, marble, Venus, Apollo

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780748693429
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693429.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patricia Pulham, author
University of Surrey