Peddling the Death of a Life: A Victorian Variation. [abstract].
Cadwallader, Alan Harold
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This paper seeks to explore how one forgotten, Victorian-formed individual sought to deal privately with the death of his publicly esteemed father. Through the journey that takes us through County Durham, Peterborough, Cambridge, Harrow, Bristol, and London we discover the conjunction of athleticism and mortality, place and people, pilgrimage and passages, religion and leisure, photography and memorialisation, discipline and dissipation, networks and mourning. It provides a counterpoint to the accent on death in Victorian England as a time of national readjustment by arguing that the particular method of dealing with a significant death carved by Henry Westcott for himself was novel, cathartic and yet constantly interacting with and informed by the legacy of a range of Victorian values — a legacy that is both reinforced in Henry through the death of his famous father and also subtly interrogated and eroded as Henry peddles through the complexities of disentanglement from the paterfamilias.