CAHSS Faculty Presentations, Proceedings, Lectures, and Symposia


The Dripping Madonna and Medicinal Milk of ‘Goblin Market’

Event Name

Victorian Recovery: Victorians Institute 2017

Event Location

Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.A.


Department of Literature and Modern Languages

Document Type


Presentation Date



Recovery is a central desire of Victorian culture and literature. The ailing seek their former vigor: from Dickensian convalescents to the hopeful purchasers of patent concoctions. The grieving aspire toward their former faith: as with the Tennyson of In Memoriam, and the countless bereaved adorned with mourning jewelry. From popular ballad to fine art painting, “fallen” women vainly attempt to recover honor and social inclusion. Antiquarians and archeologists strive after the glories of lost civilizations, and grown men grasp at the evanescent innocence of childhood. Sometimes novels figure the restoration of lost property as necessary to individual or community harmony, as when Daniel Deronda claims his grandfather’s chest and connects with his heritage; but some eagerly sought family treasures are better left missing, like the Verinders’ ill-gotten diamond.