By Kay Heath
Getting older by way of the e-book deals an cutting edge examine the ways that center age, which for hundreds of years were thought of the best of existence, was once reworked in the course of the Victorian period right into a interval of decline. unmarried girls have been nearing center age at thirty, and moms of their forties have been anticipated to turn into sexless; in the meantime, fortyish males anguished over even if their “time for romance had long past by.” taking a look at recognized novels of the interval, in addition to ads, cartoons, and scientific and recommendation manuals, Kay Heath uncovers how this ideology of decline permeated a altering tradition. getting older by means of the e-book unmasks and confronts midlife nervousness via studying its origins, demonstrating that our present detrimental angle towards midlife springs from Victorian roots, and arguing that merely after we comprehend the culturally developed nature of age do we divulge its ubiquitous and stealthy effect.
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Additional resources for Aging by the Book: The Emergence of Midlife in Victorian Britain
I was never sure how many of my graduate school anxieties were caused or exacerbated by ageism. Was I marginalized by others? Did I sabotage my own performance with insecurity about age? ”), and as I struggled with difﬁcult hallmarks of age—midlife divorce, death of a parent—I pressured myself to perform. I tried never to miss a class, to reel out dissertation pages at a respectable pace, fearing I would appear to lack seriousness, a middle-aged mother only playing at returning to college, overly invested in her personal life, unprofessional.
Consequently, physicality replaced spirituality as the quality most cultivated in boys (Newsome 26). Because the muscularity movement was associated with educating adolescents, the new manly ideal was embodied by youthfulness, and the emphasis on muscularity in the training of apprentice manhood made stamina and strength essential qualities for all men. If masculinity is measured by physical ability at its youthful height, then waning vigor severely challenges aging men. As muscle took precedence, the older man increasingly was pushed to the margins, and aging became more and more debilitating and effeminizing.
But it shall never cost one hour’s pain to you . . even so; let me not be here in vain: listen to me as a friend and father. (301) However, that Agnes’s vulgar family, and not age, is the genuine impediment remains evident from the beginning of the scene. Hubert begins their “No Longer the Man He Was” 37 conversation by telling Agnes he visits her because he has learned that her “foolish aunt” has been arrested for debt, and he then apologizes, “forgive me, Miss Willoughby; but the step I have taken can only be excused by explaining it with the most frank sincerity” (300).