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Literary Criticism, UK

Literary Criticism, UK Book List

Cover of 'Collaborative Dickens'

Collaborative Dickens
Authorship and Victorian Christmas Periodicals
By Melisa Klimaszewski

In Collaborative Dickens, Melisa Klimaszewski undertakes the first comprehensive study of Dickens’s Christmas numbers. She argues for a revised understanding of Dickens as an editor who, rather than ceaselessly bullying his contributors, sometimes accommodated contrary views and depended upon multivocal narratives for his own success.

Cover of 'Transported to Botany Bay'

Transported to Botany Bay
Class, National Identity, and the Literary Figure of the Australian Convict
By Dorice Williams Elliott

In analyzing depictions of Australian convicts in novels, broadsides, and first-person accounts, Dorice Williams Elliott demonstrates how Britain linked class, race, and national identity at a key historical moment when it was still negotiating its relationship with its empire.

Cover of 'The Plot Thickens'

The Plot Thickens
Illustrated Victorian Serial Fiction from Dickens to Du Maurier
By Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge

In the early 1800s, books were largely unillustrated. By the 1830s and 1840s, however, innovations in wood- and steel-engraving techniques changed how Victorian readers consumed and conceptualized fiction. A new type of novel was born, often published in serial form, one that melded text and image as partners in meaning-making.

Cover of 'Drawing on the Victorians'

Drawing on the Victorians
The Palimpsest of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Graphic Texts
Edited by Anna Maria Jones and Rebecca N. Mitchell
· Afterword by Kate Flint

Late nineteenth-century Britain experienced an unprecedented explosion of visual print culture and a simultaneous rise in literacy across social classes. New printing technologies facilitated quick and cheap dissemination of images—illustrated books, periodicals, cartoons, comics, and ephemera—to a mass readership. This Victorian visual turn prefigured the present-day impact of the Internet on how images are produced and shared, both driving and reflecting the visual culture of its time.

Cover of 'Culture and Money in the Nineteenth Century'

Culture and Money in the Nineteenth Century
Abstracting Economics
Edited by Daniel Bivona and Marlene Tromp

Grounded in literary studies and spanning the Americas, India, England, and Scotland, this book explores the relationship between economic concepts and culture in the period, focusing on how economic tropes were abstracted into other discourses in fields as diverse as evolutionary science, business, or literary narrative.

Cover of 'Reading for Health'

Reading for Health
Medical Narratives and the Nineteenth-Century Novel
By Erika Wright

In Reading for Health: Medical Narratives and the Nineteenth-Century Novel, Erika Wright argues that the emphasis in Victorian Studies on disease as the primary source of narrative conflict that must be resolved has obscured the complex reading practices that emerge around the concept of health.

Cover of 'The Victorian Novel of Adulthood'

The Victorian Novel of Adulthood
Plot and Purgatory in Fictions of Maturity
By Rebecca Rainof

In The Victorian Novel of Adulthood, Rebecca Rainof confronts the conventional deference accorded the bildungsroman as the ultimate plot model and quintessential expression of Victorian nation building. The novel of maturity, she contends, is no less important to our understanding of narrative, Victorian culture, and the possibilities of fiction.

Cover of 'Forget Me Not'

Forget Me Not
The Rise of the British Literary Annual, 1823–1835
By Katherine D. Harris

Katherine D. Harris assesses the phenomenal rise of the literary annual and its origins in English, German, and French literary forms as well as its social influence on women, its redefinition of the feminine, and its effects on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century print culture.

Cover of 'A Room of His Own'

A Room of His Own
A Literary-Cultural Study of Victorian Clubland
By Barbara Black

In nineteenth-century London, a clubbable man was a fortunate man, indeed. The Reform, the Athenaeum, the Travellers, the Carlton, the United Service are just a few of the gentlemen’s clubs that formed the exclusive preserve known as “clubland” in Victorian London—the City of Clubs that arose during the Golden Age of Clubs. Why were these associations for men only such a powerful emergent institution in nineteenth-century London?

Winner of the 2013 Sonya Rudikoff Award for best first book in Victorian Studies · Short-listed for the 2013 British Society for Literature and Science Book Prize.
Cover of 'Reading Victorian Deafness'

Reading Victorian Deafness
By Jennifer Esmail

Reading Victorian Deafness is the first book to address the crucial role that deaf people, and their unique language of signs, played in Victorian culture.

Cover of 'Doctoring the Novel'

Doctoring the Novel
Medicine and Quackery from Shelley to Doyle
By Sylvia A. Pamboukian

If nineteenth-century Britain witnessed the rise of medical professionalism, it also witnessed rampant quackery. It is tempting to categorize historical practices as either orthodox or quack, but what did these terms really signify in medical and public circles at the time? How did they develop and evolve? What do they tell us about actual medical practices?

Cover of 'Meter Matters'

Meter Matters
Verse Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century
Edited by Jason David Hall

Across the nineteenth century, meter mattered—in more ways and to more people than we might well appreciate today. For the period’s poets, metrical matters were a source of inspiration and often vehement debate. And the many readers, teachers, and pupils encountered meter and related topics in both institutional and popular forms.

Cover of 'Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing'

Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing
The Illustrated Gift Book and Victorian Visual Culture, 1855-1875
By Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

In Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing eminent Rossetti scholar Lorraine Janzen Kooistra demonstrates the cultural centrality of a neglected artifact: the Victorian illustrated gift book. Turning a critical lens on “drawing-room books” as both material objects and historical events, Kooistra reveals how the gift book’s visual/verbal form mediated “high” and popular art as well as book and periodical publication.

Cover of 'Dancing out of Line'

Dancing out of Line
Ballrooms, Ballets, and Mobility in Victorian Fiction and Culture
By Molly Engelhardt

Dancing out of Line transports readers back to the 1840s, when the craze for social and stage dancing forced Victorians into a complex relationship with the moving body in its most voluble, volatile form.

Cover of 'Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture'

Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture
The Making of a Legend
Edited by Joseph Bristow

Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legend explores the meteoric rise, sudden fall, and legendary resurgence of an immensely influential writer’s reputation from his hectic 1881 American lecture tour to recent Hollywood adaptations of his dramas. Always renowned—if not notorious—for his fashionable persona, Wilde courted celebrity at an early age. Later, he came to prominence as one of the most talented essayists and fiction writers of his time.