Taking Hegel's famous 'Master-Slave Dialectic' as its point of departure, this wide-ranging book examines portrayals of masters, slaves and servants in works by Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Richard Wagner and others.Whilst Hegel's writing is marked by the contemporary heroism and 'world mastery' of Napoleon, many of these later writers felt acutely that they were living in a post-Napoleonic world of the 'Sham-Hero'. The questions they raise about mastery, slavery and servitude are pursued in relation to intriguing nineteenth-century figures as the American slave-holder, the musician, the butler, the scientist, the demagogue and 'the Jew'.

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