Nineteenth-Century Disability:  Cultures & Contexts


Nineteenth-century literature offers a valuable window into historical perceptions of disability.  Literature also helped shape how disability was seen in the nineteenth century.  For example, novelists like Charlotte Yonge and Dinah Mulock Craik were key in promoting a vision of invalids as spiritual in their suffering. Others, such as William Wordsworth and Arthur Symons, wrote autobiographical poetry about their very different experiences meeting blind beggars in the streets of nineteenth-century London.  In this section, you can discover both lesser known literary texts about disability, such as Martin Tupper's poem, "The Stammerer's Complaint", and how disability informs more well-known pieces of literature, such as Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.