Showalter's thoughtful, detailed introductory essay is a comprehensive analysis between Rosetti's novella and Craik's essays...the biographical portrait of Christina Rossetti's conflicts makes her a vivid example of the psychological and social barriers to the development of the female poets...her description of Dinah Mulock Craik stressed this woman's common-sense approach to ameliorating the position of the working-class woman in society...useful to students of feminist theory and of Victorian literature.
Cristina Rossetti was nineteen years old when she wrote Maude: Prose and Verse in 1850. Clearly autobiographical, the novel examines the heroine's endeavor to resist the notion that modesty, virtue and domesticity constitute the sole duties of womanhood.
For the precocious young poet, the work was only one of several projects of her teens. Growing up in London as the youngest child in a gifted and unusual family of artists and writers, Rossetti had early developed a poetic vocation. But by the time she wrote "Maude," the lively, passionate, and adventurous little girl who had hated needlework, delighted in fiercely competitive games of chess, and explored the country with her brothers became a painfully constrained, sickly, and over-scrupulous teenager. "Maude" makes clear that at least some of Rossetti's affliction came from anxieties about poetic achievement, her wishes both to be admired for her genius and to renounce it as unfeminine. Often overshadowed by her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina struggled to express her own independent authorial voice, and to resist a life bound by the constraints and demands of the traditional female role.
Other late Victorian attitudes towards Anglican women's communities are brought out in "On Sisterhoods" by Dinah Mulock Craik which appeared in Longman's magazine in 1883. Craik herself worked on the literary border between feminine gentility and feminist rebellion. In 1850, when Christina Rossetti was writing "Maude" within the confines of her family, Dinah Mulock was supporting herself and her two younger brothers by her pen. "On Sisterhoods" confronts head-on the woman question.' Asserting that women's role is to find beauty in their lives through altruism and good works--to be more or less good women'--Craik provides a radical solution to the woman question' by advocating the encouragement of Anglican sisterhoods, effectively women's co-operatives. For her, the strongest argument for such a sisterhood is the alternative life it offers to single women, with no outlets for their maternal emotions.
The third text presented here, Craik's "A Woman's Thoughts About Women," was a widely circulated manual of advice on female self-sufficiency for unmarried women, based on her own experience in a family left destitute by an eccentric father when she was nineteen. It addressed a pressing contemporary problem: the large number of urban single women who were well educated and qualified but for whom traditional employment offered no place. Craik understood that independence would come hard to middle-class women, yet she was optimistic about the ways women might re-educate themselves, abandoning false pride and learning to manage small businesses or conduct trades.
Throughout her career, Craik masked her private feminist views with disdain for women's rights and criticism of women's public activism. Unmarried and self-supporting until the age of forty, she wrote about the problems of single and working women in over fifty popular novels, children's stories and collections of essays.
Archibald Salisbury, son of a viscount, war hero, and proficient in the proper ways of aristocratic society, has received orders for his most challenging mission: Genevieve, Duchess of Blakesley. How she inherited a duchy isn't his problem. Turning her into a perfect duchess is. But how can he keep his mind on business when her beauty entices him toward pleasure
It was impossible, unprecedented . . . and undeniably true. Genevieve is now a “duke”, or, rather, a duchess. So what is she to do when the ton eyes her every move, hoping she'll make a mistake Genevieve knows she has brains and has sometimes been told she has beauty, but, out of her depth, she calls on an expert. And what an expert, with shoulders broad enough to lean on, and a wit that matches her own. Archie is supposed to teach her to be a lady and run her estate, but what she really wants to do is unladylike-run into his arms.
Graphics are great for exploring data, but how can they be used for looking at the large datasets that are commonplace to-day? This book shows how to look at ways of visualizing large datasets, whether large in numbers of cases or large in numbers of variables or large in both. Data visualization is useful for data cleaning, exploring data, identifying trends and clusters, spotting local patterns, evaluating modeling output, and presenting results. It is essential for exploratory data analysis and data mining. Data analysts, statisticians, computer scientists-indeed anyone who has to explore a large dataset of their own-should benefit from reading this book.
New approaches to graphics are needed to visualize the information in large datasets and most of the innovations described in this book are developments of standard graphics. There are considerable advantages in extending displays which are well-known and well-tried, both in understanding how best to make use of them in your work and in presenting results to others. It should also make the book readily accessible for readers who already have a little experience of drawing statistical graphics. All ideas are illustrated with displays from analyses of real datasets and the authors emphasize the importance of interpreting displays effectively. Graphics should be drawn to convey information and the book includes many insightful examples.
From the reviews:
"Anyone interested in modern techniques for visualizing data will be well rewarded by reading this book. There is a wealth of important plotting types and techniques." Paul Murrell for the Journal of Statistical Software, December 2006
"This fascinating book looks at the question of visualizing large datasets from many different perspectives. Different authors are responsible for different chapters and this approach works well in giving the reader alternative viewpoints of the same problem. Interestingly the authors have cleverly chosen a definition of 'large dataset'. Essentially they focus on datasets with the order of a million cases. As the authors point out there are now many examples of much larger datasets but by limiting to ones that can be loaded in their entirety in standard statistical software they end up with a book that has great utility to the practitioner rather than just the theorist. Another very attractive feature of the book is the many colour plates, showing clearly what can now routinely be seen on the computer screen. The interactive nature of data analysis with large datasets is hard to reproduce in a book but the authors make an excellent attempt to do just this." P. Marriott for the Short Book Reviews of the ISI
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