Title of Lecture

Physicality, Femininity, and Illustrations of Muscular Women in Victorian Periodicals

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Description of Lecture

In the Victorian (1837-1901) periodical press, the figure of the muscular woman sparked debates about the value of strenuous physical fitness regimens for women and illuminated wider uncertainties about aesthetic ideals of British feminine decorum. While these debates and anxieties were largely documented in written commentaries, they were also advanced by contradictory illustrations of muscular women. Dr. Mitchell explores how these illustrations—along with the essays, anecdotes, and poems they often accompanied—revealed layered interpretations and subtexts that the aesthetics of the muscular female body evoked, thus capturing divergent attitudes toward female musculature in Victorian culture.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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