The ‘desecrated mind’ and its alternatives: Dante Rossetti and political economy

Adelman, Richard (2017) The ‘desecrated mind’ and its alternatives: Dante Rossetti and political economy. ELH: English Literary History, 84 (1). pp. 195-222. ISSN 0013-8304

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This essay reads Dante Rossetti’s poem “Jenny” (1848-70) alongside nineteenth-century political economy and Ruskin’s critique of that discourse in “Unto This Last” (1860). While Rossetti’s poem is almost exclusively discussed in relation to debates surrounding contemporary prostitution, this essay demonstrates the considerable extent to which “Jenny” articulates — and simultaneously critiques — of one of political economy’s central claims, that the labouring classes are mentally stultified by their repetitive bodily labour. Recognition of this fact opens up a way of reading Rossetti’s poem as a wholesale challenge to political economy and its patters of thought.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary history
Depositing User: Richard Adelman
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:04
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 19:53

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