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Literary and Cultural Studies

The Flirt's Tragedy
Desire without End in Victorian and Edwardian Fiction Richard A. Kaye

In the flirtation plots of novels by Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and W. M. Thackeray, heroines learn sociability through competition with naughty coquette-doubles. In the writing of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, flirting harbors potentially tragic consequences, a perilous game then adapted by... More

Going by Contraries
Robert Frost's Conflict with Science Robert Bernard Hass

One of the most vexing problems facing American modernist poets was how to find a place for poetry and religion in a culture that considered science its most reliable source of truth. By the time Robert Frost began writing, the Emersonian concept of nature as an analogue for a benevolent deity had... More

The Angel out of the House
Philanthropy and Gender in Nineteenth-Century England Dorice Williams Elliott

Was nineteenth-century British philanthropy the "truest and noblest woman’s work" and praiseworthy for having raised the nation’s moral tone, or was it a dangerous mission likely to cause the defeminization of its practitioners as they became "public persons"? In Victorian England, women’s... More

The Letters of Matthew Arnold
1829-1859 Matthew Arnold. Edited by Cecil Y. Lang

The University Press of Virginia edition of The Letters of Matthew Arnold, edited by Cecil Y. Lang, represents the most comprehensive and assiduously annotated collection of Arnold's correspondence available. When complete in six volumes, this edition will include close to four thousand letters,... More

The Complete Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll
The Political Pamphlets and Letters of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and Related Pieces: A Mathematical Approach Lewis Carroll. Edited by Francine Abeles

Charles L. Dodgson’s publications on political subjects offer a very different view of Lewis Carroll, the man made famous by his "Alice" books. Better known for whimsical and nonsense writings, Dodgson wrote on the entire spectrum of voting theory, applying it to issues of local governance at... More

Mapping the Ethical Turn
A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory Todd F. Davis and Kenneth Womack, eds.

Divided into four descriptive sections—"Theory and the Ethics of Literary Text," "Confronting the Difficult: The Ethics of Race and Power," "Making Darkness Visible: The Ethical Implications of Narrative as Witness," and "Ways of Seeing: The Diversity of Applied Ethical Criticism"—this... More

The Origins of African American Literature, 1680-1865
Dickson D. Bruce, Jr.

From the earliest texts of the colonial period to works contemporary with Emancipation, African American literature has been a dialogue across color lines, and a medium through which black writers have been able to exert considerable authority on both sides of that racial demarcation.Dickson D.... More

Radicals on the Road
The Politics of English Travel Writing in the 1930s Bernard Schweizer

In the 1930s, the discourse of travel furthered widely divergent and conflicting ideologies—socialist, conservative, male chauvinist, and feminist—and the major travel writers of the time revealed as much in their texts. Evelyn Waugh was a declared conservative and fascist sympathizer; George... More

Sites of Southern Memory
The Autobiographies of Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, Lillian Smith, and Pauli Murray Darlene O'Dell

In southern graveyards through the first decades of the twentieth century, the Confederate South was commemorated by tombstones and memorials, in Confederate flags, and in Memorial Day speeches and burial rituals. Cemeteries spoke the language of southern memory, and identity was displayed in... More

Visions of the Maid
Joan of Arc in American Film and Culture Robin Blaetz

Representations of Joan of Arc have been used in the United States for the past two hundred years, appearing in advertising, cartoons, popular song, art, criticism, and propaganda. The presence of the fifteenth-century French heroine in the cinema is particularly intriguing in relation to the role... More

Invited Guest
An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Southern Poetry David Rigsbee and Steven Ford Brown, eds.

Mencken's stinging characterization of the American South as "the Sahara of the Bozart" reflects an understandable frustration with the narrow view of the canon of southern literature. With its focus on novelists, it largely ignores the works of all but a few poets—the Fugitives Robert Penn Warren... More

The Best and Worst Country in the World
Perspectives on the Early Virginia Landscape Stephen Adams

From its earliest days, the Virginia landscape has elicited dramatically contradictory descriptions. The sixteenth-century poet Michael Drayton exalted the land as "earth's onely paradise," while John Smith, in his reports to England, summarized the area around Jamestown as "a miserie, a ruine, a... More

American Women Writers and the Nazis
Ethics and Politics in Boyle, Porter, Stafford, and Hellman Thomas Carl Austenfeld

As expatriates in Germany and Austria in the 1930s, Kay Boyle, Katherine Anne Porter, Jean Stafford, and Lillian Hellman saw the rise of Nazi ideology firsthand. And while all four clearly realized—as their work demonstrates—that ethical behavior is the personal corollary of political conviction,... More

Traditions of Victorian Women's Autobiography
The Poetics and Politics of Life Writing Linda H. Peterson

Victorian women's autobiography emerged at a historical moment when the field of life writing was particularly rich. Spiritual autobiography was developing interesting variations in the heroic memoirs of pioneering missionary women and in probing intellectual analyses of Nonconformists, Anglicans,... More

Plotting Terror
Novelists and Terrorists in Contemporary Fiction Margaret Scanlan

Is literature dangerous? In the romantic view, writers were rebels--Shelley's "unacknowledged legislators of mankind"--poised to change the world. In relation to twentieth-century literature, however, such a view becomes suspect. By looking at a range of novels about terrorism, Plotting Terror... More

The Book of Numbers
Robert Deane Pharr. Afterword by Jabari Asim

In the hardboiled tradition of Chester Himes and Walter Mosely, Robert Deane Pharr's novel tells the tale of two black men, Dave and Blueboy, traveling waiters who establish themselves as numbers runners in a fictionalized Richmond of the 1930s. Published to great acclaim in 1969, The Book of... More

The Nature Fakers
Wildlife, Science, and Sentiment Ralph H. Lutts

In 1903 John Burroughs published an Atlantic Monthly article attacking popular nature writers—among them William J. Long and Jack London—as "sham naturalists." The spirited "nature fakers" controversy that ensued reveals much about public attitudes toward nature at the time. Burroughs's argument... More

Almost a Girl
Male Writers and Female Identification Alan Williamson

Gender criticism, Alan Williamson argues, has for too long been shaped and limited by the same dualisms that have defined male versus female literary voices in Western culture. Certain emotions expressed in literature are considered "feminine," certain emotions are typed as "masculine," and there... More

The Correspondence of William James
William and Henry July 1899-1901 William James. Edited by Ignas K. Skrupskelis and Elizabeth M. Berkeley

This ninth volume of a projected twelve continues the series of William James's correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues that was begun in Volume 4. Consisting of some 470 letters, with as many more calendared, it offers a complete accounting of James's known correspondence from July... More

Revising Flannery O'Connor
Southern Literary Culture and the Problem of Female Authorship Katherine Hemple Prown

In her short life, the prolific Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) authored two novels, thirty-two stories, and numerous essays and articles. Although her importance as a twentieth-century southern writer is unquestionable, mainstream feminist criticism has generally neglected O'Connor's work.In... More

The Simms Reader
Selections from the Writings of William Gilmore Simms William Gilmore Simms. Edited by John Caldwell Guilds

Long considered a leading literary figure of the Old South, William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) wrote letters, novels, short fiction, drama, essays, and poetry in his prolific career. Born in Charleston to an old South Carolina family of modest means and raised by a grandmother with whom his father... More

The Luxury of Skepticism
Politics, Philosophy,and Dialogue in the English Public Sphere, 1660–1740 Timothy Dykstal

How is it that a controversy about politics becomes a conversation about philosophy? From Hobbes to Harrington to Shaftesbury to Berkeley, Timothy Dykstal explores the public function of the philosophical dialogue at the beginning of England's long eighteenth century. From his close analysis of the... More

Poems of Nation, Anthems of Empire
English Verse in the Long Eighteenth Century Suvir Kaul

In Poems of Nation, Anthems of Empire, Suvir Kaul argues that the aggressive nationalism of James Thomson's ode "Rule, Britannia!" (1740) is the condition to which much English poetry of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries aspires. Poets as varied as Marvell, Waller and Dryden, Defoe,... More

The Correspondence of William James
William and Henry: 1895-1899 William James. Edited by Ignas K. Skrupskelis and Elizabeth M. Berkeley

This eighth volume of a projected twelve continues the series of William James's correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues, which was begun in volume 4 of the Correspondence. The eight volume contains some 530 letters, with an additional 620 letters calendared, thus giving a complete... More

Willa Cather
The Writer and Her World Janis P. Stout

Previous biographies of Willa Cather have either recycled the traditional view of a writer detached from social issues whose work supported a wholesome view of a vanished America, or they have focused solely on revelations about her private life. Challenging these narrow interpretations, Janis P.... More