Victorian Jesus: J.R. Seeley, Religion, and the Cultural Significance of Anonymity

By Ian Hesketh

© 2017

Ecce Homo: A Survey in the Life and Work of Jesus Christ, published anonymously in 1865, alarmed some readers and delighted others by its presentation of a humanitarian view of Christ and early Christian history. Victorian Jesus explores the relationship between historian J. R. Seeley and his publisher Alexander Macmillan as they sought to keep Seeley’s authorship a secret while also trying to exploit the public interest.

Ian Hesketh highlights how Ecce Homo's reception encapsulates how Victorians came to terms with rapidly changing religious views in the second half of the nineteenth century. Hesketh critically examines Seeley’s career and public image, and the publication and reception of his controversial work. Readers and commentators sought to discover the author’s identity in order to uncover the hidden meaning of the book, and this engendered a lively debate about the ethics of anonymous publishing. In Victorian Jesus, Ian Hesketh argues for the centrality of this moment in the history of anonymity in book and periodical publishing throughout the century.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Book and Print Culture
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003483

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2017

    From: $41.25

    Regular Price: $55.00

    ISBN 9781442645776
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2017

    From: $41.25

    Regular Price: $55.00

Quick Overview

Victorian Jesus explores the relationship between historian J. R. Seeley and his publisher Alexander Macmillan as they sought to keep Seeley’s authorship a secret while also trying to exploit the public interest.

Victorian Jesus: J.R. Seeley, Religion, and the Cultural Significance of Anonymity

By Ian Hesketh

© 2017

Ecce Homo: A Survey in the Life and Work of Jesus Christ, published anonymously in 1865, alarmed some readers and delighted others by its presentation of a humanitarian view of Christ and early Christian history. Victorian Jesus explores the relationship between historian J. R. Seeley and his publisher Alexander Macmillan as they sought to keep Seeley’s authorship a secret while also trying to exploit the public interest.

Ian Hesketh highlights how Ecce Homo's reception encapsulates how Victorians came to terms with rapidly changing religious views in the second half of the nineteenth century. Hesketh critically examines Seeley’s career and public image, and the publication and reception of his controversial work. Readers and commentators sought to discover the author’s identity in order to uncover the hidden meaning of the book, and this engendered a lively debate about the ethics of anonymous publishing. In Victorian Jesus, Ian Hesketh argues for the centrality of this moment in the history of anonymity in book and periodical publishing throughout the century.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Book and Print Culture
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "Victorian Jesus is a first first-rate piece of work, and is important for examining the intersection of the history of religious thought and the history of the book. It is a model of its kind for integrating print culture and the history of religious thought. I was deeply impressed."


    Bernard Lightman, Department of Humanities, York University

    "Victorian Jesus is unarguably a very significant and original contribution to the limited literature on Seeley, and Hesketh knows the Seeley and Macmillan papers inside out. This well well-written book is a specialised, but not at all a ‘hermetic’ volume and it should interest a very broad range of nineteenth-century scholars."


    Michael Ledger-Lomas, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, King’s College

    "Hesketh deftly integrates book history and the study of religious culture into a compelling analysis of Seeley’s theological and historical writing. … Hesketh’s lively prose provides readers with penetrating and intriguing insights into Seeley’s career, the dynamics of literary marketing in mid-Victorian Britain, and the changing religious and ethical landscape of the second half of the nineteenth century. Victorian Jesus successfully utilizes its tightly focused scope to offer truly valuable insights to all students of Victorian Britain and is deserving of just such a broad audience."


    Patrick J. Corbeil, St. Mary’s University, Calgary
  • Author Information

    Ian Hesketh is an ARC Future Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgments

    Prologue: The Forgotten Story of Ecce Homo

    Chapter 1: Authority and Authorship

    Chapter 2: By the Author of Essays on the Church

    Chapter 3: Father and Son

    Chapter 4: The Victorian Jesus

    Chapter 5: A Dangerous Book

    Chapter 6: Vomited from the Jaws of Hell

    Chapter 7: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

    Chapter 8: Shrewd Conjecture

    Chapter 9: White Lies

    Chapter 10: Behold the Man

    Chapter 11: Behold the Historian

    Chapter 12: Fulfilling a Promise

    Chapter 13: By the Author of Ecce Homo

    Chapter 14: Remembering the Author of Ecce Homo

    Epilogue: Anonymous Publishing and Universal History

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index

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