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Victorian Literature and Culture Series

This series seeks to publish the best contemporary scholarship and criticism on the Victorian period, including work undertaken from a range of disciplinary—and interdisciplinary—perspectives.

Series Editors: Herbert F. Tucker 
Associate Editors: William McKelvy, Jill Rappoport, and Andrew Stauffer
UVP Editor: Eric Brandt


Parting Words

Justin Sider

Valedictory addresses offer a way to conceptualize the relation of self to others, private to public, ephemeral to eternal. Whether deathbed pronouncements, political capitulations, or seafaring farewells, "parting words" played a crucial role in the social imagination of Victorian writing. In this... More


The Physics of Possibility

Michael Tondre

The Victorian novels of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and others have been characterized as having lapsed plotlines, endless digressions, and an obsessive devotion to background characters. But, as Henry James asked, what do these elements mean artistically? The Physics of Possibility answers this... More


Pirating Fictions

Monica F. Cohen

Two distinctly different meanings of piracy are ingeniously intertwined in Monica Cohen's lively new book, which shows how popular depictions of the pirate held sway on the page and the stage even as their creators were preoccupied with the ravages of literary appropriation. The golden age of... More


Willful Submission

Amanda Paxton

Victorian England: a Jesuit priest writes of wrestling with God at night, limbs entangled; an Anglican sister begs Jesus, her divine lover, to end her aching anticipation of their union; a clergyman exhorts nuns to study the example of medieval women who suffered on the rack in order to become "... More


Mathilde Blind

James Diedrick

With Mathilde Blind: Late-Victorian Culture and the Woman of Letters, James Diedrick offers a groundbreaking critical biography of the German-born British poet Mathilde Blind (1841–1896), a freethinking radical feminist. Born to politically radical parents, Blind had, by the time she was thirty,... More


Ruskin's Culture Wars

Judith Stoddart

"When I consider the quantity of wise talking which has passed in at one long ear of the world, and out at the other, without making the smallest impression upon its mind, I am tempted for the rest of my life to try and do what seems to me rational, silently; and to speak no more."--Ruskin in Fors... More


Poetry and the Thought of Song in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Elizabeth K. Helsinger

In arguing for the crucial importance of song for poets in the long nineteenth century, Elizabeth Helsinger focuses on both the effects of song on lyric forms and the mythopoetics through which poets explored the affinities of poetry with song. Looking in particular at individual poets and poems,... More


The Language of Flowers

Beverly Seaton

The author traces the phenomenon of ascribing sentimental meaning to floral imagery from its beginnings in Napoleonic France through its later transformations in England and America. At the heart of the book is a depiction of what the three most important flower books from each of the countries... More


Promises Broken

Ginger S. Frost

In the nineteenth century, a woman who could prove a man had broken his promise to marry her was legally entitled to compensation for damages. Bridging the gap between history and literature, Ginger S. Frost offers an in-depth examination of these breaches of promise and compares actual with... More


Capital Offenses

Simon Joyce

As London became the first major city of the nineteenth century, new models of representation emerged in the journalism, poetry, fiction, and social commentary of the period. Simon Joyce argues that such writing reflected a persistent worry about the problem of crime but was never able to contain... More


Modified Rapture

Alan Fischler

[Book description not available]


The Victorian Serial

Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund

Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund provide a new approach to the study of installment literature by showing how it embodied a view of life intrinsic to Victorian culture. They examine how the serial format affected the ways Victorian audiences interpreted sixteen major works of poetry and fiction.... More


Victorian Connections

Jerome J. Mcgann, ed.

In Victorian Connections, each contributor was asked to write about anything in the Victorian period, with only one proviso: that the essay seek to draw connections with other disciplines, fields, periods, methodologies or authors. The compliment the essays pay to each other - the way they... More


Author and Printer in Victorian England

Allan C. Dooley

Author and Printer in Victorian England demonstrates that printing technology shapes texts. The technology involved was a nineteenth-century revolution in printing methods; the texts were classic literary works by Victorian authors. What was at stake was textual control: who would decide how the... More


The Vulgarization of Art

Linda Dowling

In this major reinterpretation of the Victorian Aesthetic Movement, Linda Dowling argues that such classic works of Victorian art writing such as Ruskin's Stones of Venice of Morris's Lectures on Art or Wilde's Critic as Artist become wholly intelligible only within the larger ideological context... More


Victorian Publishing and Mrs. Gaskell's Work

Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund

For much of her own century, Elizabeth Gaskell was recognized as a voice of Victorian convention&emdash;-the loyal wife, good mother, and respected writer&emdash;-a reputation that led to her steady decline in the view of twentieth-century literary critics. Recent scholars, however, have... More


Culture and Irony

Anthony Winner

Conrad's major novels- Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, and Under Western Eyes-tell of illusions and betrayals, dreams and lies. Ambiguity, contradiction, and irony so dominate the narratives that the more closely one reads, the more difficult it becomes to know what is real or what is true.... More


Paradise Dislocated

Jeffrey Skoblow

Paradise Dislocated offers a radical rereading of William Morris's neglected masterpiece, The Earthly Paradise. While most critics have seen this poem as the antithesis of the radical socialist politics that Morris embraced later in his career, or, at best, as an awkward prelude to that later... More


Tennyson's Fixations

Matthew Rowlinson

Matthew Rowlinson has given us the most penetrating analysis of Tennyson's poetry to date. He proposes a revitalized and properly analytic formalism as the appropriate model for reading of Tennyson. In a series of original, scrupulously attentive, and sophisticated close readings, he probes the... More


The Child, the State and the Victorian Novel

Laura C. Berry

The Child, the State, and the Victorian Novel traces the the story of victimized childhood to its origins in nineteenth-century Britain. Almost as soon as "childhood" became a distinct category, Laura C. Berry contends, stories of children in danger were circulated as part of larger debates about... More


The Feminine Political Novel in Victorian England

Barbara Leah Harman

In this groundbreaking book, Barbara Leah Harman convincingly establishes a new category in Victorian fiction: the feminine political novel. By studying Victorian female protagonists who participate in the public universe conventionally occupied by men, she is able to reassess the public realm as... More


Thomas Hardy and the Proper Study of Mankind

Simon Gatrell

Simon Gatrell offers a fresh and stimulating exploration of Hardy's account in fiction of the individual man or woman's relationship with various aspects of the encompassing world- with other men and women, with the aggregation known as society, with the natural and artificial environment, and with... More


Vanishing Lives

James Richardson

One of the characteristic features of Victorian poetry is dimness, a vanishing away-things blur with the motion of their passing, which seems inseparable from the mind's fading as it lets them go. Tennyson, Rossetti, Swinburne, and the young Yeats are elegists of the self; they render life as... More


The Mysteries of Paris and London

Richard Maxwell

In this ambitious and exciting work Richard Maxwell uses nineteenth century urban fiction- particularly the novels of Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens- to define a greater genre, the novel of urban mysteries. His title comes from the "mystery mania" that captured both sides of the channel.In The... More


The Antagonist Principle

Lawrence Poston

The Antagonist Principle is a critical examination of the works and sometimes controversial public career of John Henry Newman (1801–1890), first as an Anglican and then as Victorian England’s most famous convert to Roman Catholicism at a time when such a conversion was not only a minority choice... More


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