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At Home in the World?: The Ornamental Life of Sailors in Victorian Sailortown

Cuming, EM (2019) At Home in the World?: The Ornamental Life of Sailors in Victorian Sailortown. Victorian Literature and Culture, 47 (3). pp. 463-485. ISSN 1470-1553

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Abstract

This article explores the representation of British sailortown and merchant sailors onshore in the context of their representation in Victorian writing and contemporary journalism. It proposes that sailortown functioned as an urban setting which offered the traveling or returning sailor an important sense of homeliness—a homeliness that was paradoxically based on the promotion of a collective and worldly belonging. This sense of “worldliness” was articulated through aspects of ornamental material culture ranging from sailortown's visual display of nautical and transnational symbols, to the interior arrangements of places of hospitality such as Sailors’ Homes, to sailors’ own forms of portable property. By thinking more closely about the relationship between the domestic and the global in the context of maritime culture, the article proposes that the ornamental features of the seafarer's life, in all its diverse manifestations, serves to reveal the paradoxes and rich ambivalences that underscore the situation of the nineteenth-century sailor onshore.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2002 Cultural Studies, 2005 Literary Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2018 11:12
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 21:04
DOI or Identification number: 10.1017/S1060150318001523
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9170

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