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First Published in 1992, this encyclopedia is designed to survey the social, cultural and intellectual climate of English Romanticism from approximately the 1780s and the French Revolution to the 1830s and the Reform Bill. Focussing on 'the spirit of the age', the book deals with the aesthetic, scientific, socioeconomic - indeed the human - environment in which the Romantics flourished. The books considers poets, playwrights and novelists; critics, editors and booksellers; painters, patrons and architects; as well as ideas, trends, fads, and conventions, the familiar and the newly discovered. The book will be of use for everyone from undergraduate English students, through to thesis-driven graduate students to teaching faculty and scholars.
How did realist fiction alter in the effort to craft forms and genres receptive to the dynamism of an expanding empire and globalizing world? Do these nineteenth-century variations on the "geopolitical aesthetic" continue to resonate today? Crossing literary criticism, political theory, and longue duree history, The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic explores these questions from the standpoint of nineteenth-century novelists such as Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Gustave Flaubert, and Anthony Trollope, as well as successors including E. M. Forster and the creators of recent television serials. By looking at the category of "sovereignty" at multiple scales and in diverse contexts, Lauren M. E. Goodlad shows that the ideological crucible for "high" realism was not a hegemonic liberalism. It was, rather, a clash of modern liberal ideals struggling to distintricate themselves from a powerful conservative vision of empire while striving to negotiate the inequalities of power which a supposedly universalistic liberalism had helped to generate. The material occasion for the Victorian era's rich realist experiments was the long transition from an informal empire of trade that could be celebrated as liberal to a neo-feudal imperialism that only Tories could warmly embrace. The book places realism's geopolitical aesthetic at the heart of recurring modern experiences of breached sovereignty, forgotten history, and subjective exile. The Coda, titled "The Way We Historicize Now", concludes the study with connections to recent debates about "surface reading", "distant reading", and the hermeneutics of suspicion.
'Just as gripping as the original novels . . . As pacy and vivid as one of Wilder's own narratives' Sunday Times Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls - the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains where 'as far as a man could go to the north in a day, or a week, or a whole month, there was nothing but woods. There were no houses'. Her books are beloved around the world. But the true story of her life has never been fully told. The Little House books were not only fictionalized but brilliantly edited, a profound act of myth-making and self-transformation. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser, the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series, masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books and uncovering the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life. Set against nearly a century of epochal change, from the Homestead Act and the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, Wilder's dramatic life provides a unique perspective on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. Settling on the frontier amidst land-rush speculation, Wilder's family encountered Biblical tribulations of locusts and drought, fire and ruin. Deep in debt after a series of personal tragedies, including the loss of a child and her husband's stroke, Wilder uprooted herself again, crisscrossing the country and turning to menial work to support her family. In middle age, she began writing a farm advice column, prodded by her self-taught journalist daughter. And at the age of sixty, after losing nearly everything in the Depression, she turned to children's books, recasting her hardscrabble childhood as a triumphal vision of homesteading - and achieving fame and fortune in the process, in one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches stories in American letters. Offering fresh insight and new discoveries about Wilder's life and times, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman who defined the American pioneer character, and whose artful blend of fact and fiction grips us to this day.
There is very little in the modern literature on the history of written culture that describes the specific practices related to writing that were anchored in colonial contexts. It was not just ships, soldiers and missionaries that drove the process of European expansion from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The circulation of images, manuscripts and books between different continents played a key role too. The Portuguese Estado da India, the Spanish Carrera de Indias, the Dutch, English and French East-Indian Companies, as well as the Company of Jesus, all fixed and inscribed the details of their travels in several types of document (letters, logs, diaries, histories, etc.). The introduction and appropriation of writing into societies without alphabets was a major factor in changing the very function and meaning of written culture. This title explores the extent to which the types of written information that resulted during colonial expansion shaped the numerous and complex processes of cultural exchange from the 16th century onwards.
Arguing that the end of the eighteenth-century witnessed the emergence of an important female poetic tradition, Claire Knowles analyzes the poetry of several key women writing between 1780 and 1860. Knowles provides important context by demonstrating the influence of the Della Cruscans in exposing the constructed and performative nature of the trope of sensibility, a revelation that was met with critical hostility by a literary culture that valorised sincerity. This sets the stage for Charlotte Smith, who pioneers an autobiographical approach to poetic production that places increased emphasis on the connection between the poet's physical body and her body of work. Knowles shows the poets Susan Evance, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning advancing Smith's poetic strategy as they seek to elicit a powerful sympathetic response from readers by highlighting a connection between their actual suffering and the production of poetry. From this environment, a specific tradition in female poetry arises that is identifiable in the work of twentieth-century writers like Sylvia Plath and continues to pertain today. Alongside this new understanding of poetic tradition, Knowles provides an innovative account of the central role of women writers to an emergent late eighteenth-century mass literary culture and traces a crucial discursive shift that takes place in poetic production during this period. She argues that the movement away from the passionate discourse of sensibility in the late eighteenth century to the more contained rhetoric of sentimentality in the early nineteenth had an enormous effect, not only on female poets but also on British literary culture as a whole.
In the 1990s it was the French theorists such as Derrida, Lacan and Foucault who, with their stress on linguistic play and undecidability, took Victorian Studies by storm; now, it seems, it is the Germans who are coming. In Roger Ebbatsons new book, Marx, Simmel, Benjamin and, above all, Heidegger are unleashed on a range of Victorian texts -- some unsuspecting, some all too suspecting. The results are alarming: Ebbatson begins with Tennyson overshadowed by empire and homosocial tensions and ends with Conan Doyle writing about a bicycle belonging to a character called Heidegger. In between, he makes bone-shaking progress over a Victorian terrain marked out by Thomas Hardy, Richard Jefferies, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Robert Louis Stevenson; along the way, Ebbatson considers shipwrecks, money, nature, the South Seas Mission, and final solutions. Tennyson, we discover, was afraid of his own shadow, Hopkinss greatest poem was created by erratic compasses, Hardy wrote like Kafka, Stevenson was drawn to murderous missionaries, and Conan Doyle applauded the concentration camp. Ebbatson shows us that what the Germans bring to our understanding of the nineteenth century is a terrible awareness of the darkest moments of the darkest moments of the twentieth century.
Detective fiction is usually thought of as genre fiction, a vast
group of works bound together by their use of a common formula.
But, as Peter Thoms argues in his investigation of some of the most
important texts in the development of detective fiction in the
nineteenth century, the very works that establish the genre's
formulaic structure also subvert that structure. "Detection and Its
Designs" reads early detective fiction as a self-conscious form
that is suspicious of the detective it ostensibly celebrates, and
critical of the authorial power he wields in attempting to
reconstruct the past and script a narrative of the crime.
Alexander Pushkin stands in a unique position as the founding father of Russian literature. In this Companion, leading scholars discuss Pushkin's work in its political, literary, social and intellectual contexts. In the first part of the book individual chapters analyse his poetry, his theatrical works, his narrative poetry and historical writings. The second section explains and samples Pushkin's impact on broader Russian culture by looking at his enduring legacy in music and film from his own day to the present. Special attention is given to the reinvention of Pushkin as a cultural icon during the Soviet period. No other volume available brings together such a range of material and such comprehensive coverage of all Pushkin's major and minor writings. The contributions represent state-of-the-art scholarship that is innovative and accessible, and are complemented by a chronology and a guide to further reading.
"Public and Private "was first published in 1997. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This groundbreaking work examines the emergent and fluctuating relationship between the public and private social spheres of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By assessing novels such as Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Jane Austen's "Emma" through the lens of the social theories of Jurgen Habermas and Michel Foucault, Patricia McKee presents a fresh and highly original contribution to literary studies.
McKee explores the themes of production and consumption as they relate to gender and class throughout the works of many of the most influential novels of the age including Tobias Smollett's "Humphry Clinker," Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto," "Emma," "Frankenstein," Anthony Trollope's "Barchester Towers," Charles Dickens's "Little Dorrit" and "The Old Curiosity Shop," Mrs. Henry Wood's "East Lynne," and Thomas Hardy's "The Return of the Native."
McKee analyzes portrayals of a society in which abstract idealism belonged to knowledgeable, productive men and the realm of ignorance was left to emotional, consuming women and the uneducated. She traces the various ways British literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries worked to reform this social experience. Topics include Dickens's attack on the bureaucratic use of knowledge to maintain the status quo; the function of antiprogressive depictions of knowledge in Trollope, Shelley, and Hardy; and Austen's characterization of the protagonist Emma as an exception in a society that denied women's productive use of knowledge.
Offering a sharp challenge to theorists who have charted a linear division of public and private experience, McKee highlights the unexpected configurations of the emergence of the public and private spheres and the effect of knowledge distribution across class and gender lines.
Patricia McKee is professor of English at Dartmouth College. She is the author of "Heroic Commitment in Richardson, Eliot, and James" (1986).
This study of Dickens touches on all the major fiction. It is organised thematically with the order in which the several themes are examined reflecting the progress of Dickens' career. Every phase of Dickens' development is discussed, while particular attention is paid to those writings which fall into the category of first person narrative. It is through the use of the first person in novels, letters and travel writings that Dickens reveals a good deal, not only about his own identity, but also about the construction of Victorian subjectivity in general. The overriding focus of the analysis in this book is a literary one, although it includes a series of reflections on aspects of Victorian society and culture: prisons, schools, money, poverty, fallen women, orphans, detectives and The great Exhibition.
This highly praised biography is the first to explore fully the way in which her painful early life and rejection by her brother Isaac in particular, shaped the insight and art which made her both Victorian England's last great visionary and the first modern. An immensely readable biography of the 19th century writer whose territory comprised nothing less than the entire span of Victorian society. Kathryn Hughes provides a truly nuanced view of Eliot, and is the first to grapple equally with the personal dramas that shaped her personality - particularly her rejection by her brother Isaac - and her social and intellectual context. Hughes shows how these elements together forged the themes of Eliot's work, her insistence that ideological interests be subordinated to the bonds between human beings - a message that has keen resonance in our own time. With wit and sympathy Kathryn Hughes has written a wonderfully vivid account of Eliot's life that is both moving, stimulating and at times laugh-out-loud funny.
After Shakespeare the most famous British author in Europe, in Britain Byron was for years either neglected, or a victim of the myth of his own personality. Now he is read and studied both for his complex politics and as a forerunner of many of the ideas and techniques more usually associated with post-modernism. Bone tackles the critical problems both of the populism of much of Byron's early work, and conversely of the sophisticated comedy of Beppo, Don Juan and The Vision of Judgement. He argues that for all its contradictoriness Byron's poetic mind develops organically, and that the scintillating technique of the late works grow out of the profoundly modern world-view, relativistic and secular, which had developed through his early years. Byron's writing are seen as a vital area for post-ideological and new found criticism.
The popular Poe--The Raven, Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat--has inspired a generation of readers long disenchanted with the normative tradition of American literature. But is the popular Poe--incessantly drinking, drug-addicted, and entranced by the terror of death--the real Poe? Harry Lee Poe contends that, for more than two centuries, the great myth of Edgar Allan Poe has damaged both the popular reader's understanding of Poe's corpus and the historian's depiction of Poe's life. Through reviewing his poems and short stories, literary criticism and science fiction, Evermore reveals a Poe who is deeply confounded by the existence of evil, the truth of justice, and even the problems of love, beauty, and God. Here Poe aficionados and casual appreciators of literature alike are invited into a greater understanding of Poe's most persistent questions and offered a novel approach to reading the American literary icon.
Ireland's experience in the nineteenth century was quite different from that of Victorian Britain. Its fictions were written in differing forms - like the gothic or historical novel - and its poetry and drama were populated with ballad and song. Its writers were by turns nationalist or unionist, anglophile or de-anglicising. If the effects of famine and emigration were catastrophic for mid-nineteenth-century Irish culture, they initiated a literary story that spread across the diaspora. Despite the decline of spoken Irish, literature continued to be published, while scholarly endeavours such as translation or the Ordnance Survey preserved much from the Gaelic past. This rich volume examines the many forms of new writing that thrived throughout this period. Utilizing a thematic and historical approach, it addresses a broad anglophone readership in Victorian literature. Essays consider the Irish authors in America and India, women's writing, and the resilience of Irish literature before the revival.
Transoceanic America offers a new approach to American literature by emphasizing the material and conceptual interconnectedness of the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. These oceans were tied together economically, textually, and politically, through such genres as maritime travel writing, mathematical and navigational schoolbooks, and the relatively new genre of the novel. Especially during the age of revolutions in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, long-distance transoceanic travel required calculating and managing risk in the interest of profit. The result was the emergence of a newly suspenseful form of narrative that came to characterize capitalist investment, political revolution, and novelistic plot. The calculus of risk that drove this expectationist narrative also concealed violence against vulnerable bodies on ships and shorelines around the world. A transoceanic American literary and cultural history requires new non-linear narratives to tell the story of this global context and to recognize its often forgotten textual archive.
Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey (1847) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) each offer a fascinating account of the relation between gender and power in nineteenth-century Britain. While Bronte's first novel focuses on the governess and education, it shares, with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, a concern with female disempowerment and the ways in which forms of tyranny can be resisted. Through her inscriptions of the complex intersections of gender, class, sexuality and education, it becomes clear that Anne Bronte articulates and interrogates those issues which still remain crucial to feminist debates at the close of the twentieth-century. Drawing upon recent literary and critical scholarship, Betty Jay sets out to re-evaluate Bronte's novels by arguing that this engagement is as incisive as it is compelling. The need to re-appraise Bronte's work in the light of contemporary critical discourse also extends to include her poetry. To this end, close textual readings of a selection of the poems show the extent to which the simplicity and sentiment conventionally ascribed to the verse deceive the reader, working to conceal Anne Bronte's more intricate and powerful poetics of subjectivity and loss.
The Victorian illustrated book came into being, flourished, and evolved during the nineteenth century. Catherine Golden offers a new framework for viewing the arc of this vibrant form and surveys the fluidity in styles of illustration in serial instalments, British and American periodicals, adult and children's literature, and - more recently - graphic novels. Golden examines widely recognized illustrated texts, such as The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Rabbit, and finds new expressions of this traditional genre in present-day graphic novel adaptations of the works of Austen, Dickens, and Trollope, as well as Neo-Victorian graphic novels like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. She explores the various factors that contributed to the early popularity of the illustrated book - the growth of commodity culture, a rise in literacy, new printing technologies - and how these ultimately created a mass market for new fiction. While existing scholarship on Victorian illustrators largely centres on the Household Edition of Dickens or the realist artists of the "Sixties", notably Fred Barnard and John Tenniel, this volume examines the lifetime of the Victorian illustrated book. It also discusses how a particular canon has been refashioned and repurposed for new generations of readers.
"Songs of Innocence and of Experience" (1794) is William Blake's
best-known work, containing such familiar poems as 'London', 'Sick
Rose' and 'The Tyger'. Evolving over the author's lifetime, the
collection was printed by Blake himself on his own press.
Sybil, or The Two Nations is one of the finest novels to depict the social problems of class-ridden Victorian England. The book's publication in 1845 created a sensation, for its immediacy and readability brought the plight of the working classes sharply to the attention of the reading public. The 'two nations' of the alternative title are the rich and poor, so disparate in their opportunities and living conditions, and so hostile to each other. that they seem almost to belong to different countries. The gulf between them is given a poignant focus by the central romantic plot concerning the love of Charles Egremont, a member of the landlord class, for Sybil, the poor daughter of a militant Chartist leader.
The writer and aesthete William Beckford (1760-1844) was a fascinating embodiment of the sublime egotist. Because of his extravagance, fabulousness and enigmatic nature, biographers have alternately presented him as an object of fascination or dismissed him as an insolent and deceptive character. Laurent Chatel provides an innovative reassessment of Beckford by presenting 'elusiveness' as the defining motif for understanding both the writer and his work. Laurent Chatel opens his analysis by exploring the author's fascination for the East, which informed several of his multi-layered works such as 'The long story', 'Suite des contes arabes' and Vathek. By reconnecting him with the eighteenth-century aesthetic of translation and reappropriation of the Arabian nights, Chatel shows how Beckford's Orientalism was key to his elusiveness and presents him as a fabulist who supplemented existing tales with touches of wonder and horror. In further chapters Chatel explores his lack of recognition as a man of letters - whether desired or not. Through an analysis of the arguably limited reception of Beckford's works, in particular in France both during his lifetime and immediately after his death, we see how his deliberate elusiveness of style was constitutive of his identity. In his groundbreaking repositioning of Beckford, Laurent Chatel provides a new framework for further explorations of his work and their rich overlay of intertextual presences.
This study relates Trollope to the broad Victorian culture to which he offered a distinctive, creative response. It looks particularly at the nature and quality of his political intelligence and at his grasp of processes of manipulation, personal interaction, media/press exploitation and the integration of the private and the public. It also assesses Trollope's continuing popularity as a writer - outselling many of his more critically 'esteemed' contemporaries in the late 20th Century.
Late Victorian quest romance has recently attracted renewed attention from critics. Much of this interest has centred on its politics of gender, and its vision of Empire. This book prefers to view the genre in the light of debates within the then nascent sciences of Anthropology and Archaeology. Starting with a discussion of the nature of romance, it goes on to interpret the encounters with lost or buried pasts. By describing encounters with remote places and times, so it argues, these authors were asking their readers disconcerting questions about humankind, and about their own culture's institutions and beliefs. The book ends by considering the implications of such a view for the whole colonial enterprise.
Tolstoy's art as represented in his greatest novels: War and Peace and Anna Karenina continues to absorb, fascinate and delight modern readers despite the lack of appeal of much of his later convictions. His great works continue to exercise a profound influence on the best imaginative writing. In our own time Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, clearly inspired by War and Peace, has deservedly become a world best seller. John Bayley concentrates in this short introductory study on Tolstoy's two great works and the ancillary texts and tales that relate to them. In elucidating the power and originality which are alive in those masterpieces Professor Bayley makes a compelling case for a return to the originals which will continue to captivate readers and draw them irresistibly into a uniquely spacious and complex world.
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