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The Victorian era is often defined by growth: empire, industrial markets,
family size, even novel length. The accumulation of money, land, and people
was catalogued in the ever-increasing pages written about these successful
subjects. The things that we define as â€œVictorianâ€ are tantamount to
So what, in a time of expansion and success, are we to make of failing
fortunes or fractured families? Moments of mutiny or regret? This panel
investigates the significance of failure in an era defined largely by success.
Papers may be on any aspect of Victorian failure, social, economic,
political, or artistic. What can these moments of failure â€“ and their
memorialization in visual art or print â€“ tell us about Victorian values and
evaluations? Do we need tragedy to have triumph? Are success and failure
defined by market values or moral values?
Possible topics include spinsters, railway accidents, flops, the Crimean
War, poverty, shipwreck, and financial speculation and debt.
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Received on Tue Mar 25 2008 - 12:52:52 EST