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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

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

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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

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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

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Paradise Dislocated

Jeffrey Skoblow

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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

[Book description not available]

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

Second Person Singular

Emily Harrington

Emily Harrington offers a new history of women’s poetry at the turn of the century that breaks from conventional ideas of nineteenth-century lyric, which focus on individual subjectivity. She argues that women poets conceived of lyric as an intersubjective genre, one that seeks to establish... More