Although George Eliot has long been described as “the novelist of the Midlands,” she often brought the outer reaches of the empire home in her work. Dark Smiles: Race and Desire in George Eliot studies Eliot's problematic, career-long interest in representing racial and ethnic Otherness.
From the 1820s through the 1840s, debate raged over what Thomas Carlyle famously termed “the Condition of England Question.” While much of the debate focused on how to remedy the material sufferings of the rural and urban working classes, for three writers in particular--William Cobbett, Thomas Carlyle, and Benjamin Disraeli--the times were marked by an even more pervasive crisis that threatened not only the material lives of workers, but also the very stability of meaning itself.
John Reed (1887-1920) is best known as the author of Ten Days That Shook the World and as champion of the communist movement in the United States. Still, Reed remains a writer almost systematically ignored by the literary critical establishment, even if alternately vilified and lionized by historians and by films like Warren Beatty's Reds.
We are a century removed from Queen Victoria's death, yet the culture that bears her name is alive and well across the globe. Not only is Victorian culture the subject of lively critical debate, but it draws widespread interest from popular audiences and consumers. Functions of Victorian Culture at the Present Time addresses the theme of the Victorians' continuing legacy and its effect on our own culture and perception of the world.
Readers do not always take into account how books that combine image and text make their meanings. But for the Pre-Raphaelite poet Christina Rossetti, such considerations were central. Christina Rossetti and Illustration maps the production and reception of Rossetti's illustrated poetry, devotional prose, and work for children, both in the author's lifetime and in posthumous twentieth-century reprints.
Music was at once one of the most idealized and one of the most contested art forms of the Victorian period. Yet this vitally important nineteenth-century cultural form has been studied by literary critics mainly as a system of thematic motifs. Angelic Airs, Subversive Songs positions music as a charged site of cultural struggle, promoted concurrently as a transcendent corrective to social ills and as a subversive cause of those ills.
Among the major writers of the Hemingway and Fitzgerald generation, Edmund Wilson defied categorization. He wrote essays, stories and novels, cultural criticism, and contemporary chronicles, as well as journals and thousands of letters about the literary life and his own private world. Here for the first time in print is Wilson's personal correspondence to his parents, lovers and wives, children, literary comrades, and friends from the different corners of his life.
With much recent scholarship polarizing frontier novels into “popular” and “literary” camps, The Word Rides Again challenges the critical orthodoxy that such works have little in common, arguing instead that formulaic Western fictions can subtly (and even subversively) share cultural concerns with more highbrow brethren.
Latin American intellectuals have traditionally debated their region’s history, never with so much agreement as in the fiction, commentary, and scholarship of the late twentieth century. Collisions with History shows how “fictional histories” of discovery and conquest, independence and early nationhood, and the recent authoritarian past were purposeful revisionist collisions with received national versions.
In 1837, when Queen Victoria came to the throne, no institution of higher education in Britain was open to women. By the end of the century, a quiet revolution had occurred: women had penetrated even the venerable walls of Oxford and Cambridge and could earn degrees at the many new universities founded during Victoria's reign. During the same period, novelists increasingly put intellectually ambitious heroines students, teachers, and frustrated scholars—at the center of their books.
Tracing the Victorian crisis over the representation of working-class women to the 1842 Parliamentary bluebook on mines, with its controversial images of women at work, Hidden Hands argues that the female industrial worker became even more dangerous to represent than the prostitute or the male radical because she exposed crucial contradictions between the class and gender ideologies of the period and its economic realities.
Valuable and timely in its long historical and critical perspective on the legacy of romanticism to Victorian art and thought, The Rescue of Romanticism is the first book-length study of the close intellectual relationship between Walter Pater and John Ruskin, the two most important Victorian critics of art.
This is a study of the ‘unofficial’ side of African fiction—the largely undocumented writing, publishing, and reading of pamphlets and paperbacks—which exists outside the grid of mass production. Stephanie Newell examines the popular fiction of Ghana produced since the 1930s, analyzing the distinctive ways in which narrative forms are borrowed and regenerated by authors and readers.
Our Lady of Victorian Feminism is about three nineteenth-century women, Protestants by background and feminists by conviction, who are curiously and crucially linked by their extensive use of the Madonna in arguments designed to empower women. In the field of Victorian studies, few scholars have looked beyond the customary identification of the Christian Madonna with the Victorian feminine ideal—the domestic Madonna or the Angel in the House.
Ghanaian novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Ayi Kwei Armah has won international recognition as one of Africa’s most articulate writers. In this book, Ode Ogede argues that previous critics have misinterpreted the aesthetic and literary influences that have shaped Armah’s artistic vision and overlooked his most significant and valuable contribution to the problems of writing “outside the prison-house of conventional English.”