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Literary and Cultural Studies

In Pursuit of Flavor
Edna Lewis

Perhaps no other cook has played such a central role in the renaissance of traditional southern cooking as Edna Lewis. When asked who has influenced them most, chefs from New York to Little Washington to Charleston cite Ms. Lewis and her classic collection of recipes, In Pursuit of Flavor, first... More

Contingent Loves
Simone de Beauvoir and Sexuality Melanie C. Hawthorne, ed.

As the existentialist philosophers of mid-twentieth-century Paris famously asserted, a life can only be assessed fully after it has ended. Fitting, then, that since her death in 1986, the philosopher and novelist Simone de Beauvoir has been the subject of numerous attempts to evaluate her... More

Idol of Suburbia
Marie Corelli and Late-Victorian Literary Culture Annette R. Federico

Marie Corelli (1855–1924) was the most popular novelist of the turn of the century, outselling Hall Caine, Mrs. Humphry Ward, H. G. Wells, and Arthur Conan Doyle by the thousands. For thirty years she was ridiculed by reviewers and the literary elite—Edmund Gosse dismissed her as "that little... More

We Write for Our Own Time
Selected Essays from Seventy-Five Years of the Virginia Quarterly Review Alexander Burnham, ed.

In 1925, Edwin A. Alderman, president of the University of Virginia, fulfilled a long-held dream by establishing a magazine at the institution founded by Thomas Jefferson just over one hundred years earlier. Not only did Alderman initiate publication of the Virginia Quarterly Review, he contributed... More

Writing the Urban Jungle
Reading Empire in London from Doyle to Eliot Joseph McLaughlin

Much has been written about cultural imperialism and the effects of Britain and British culture on colonized people, but Joseph McLaughlin suggests that the influence worked both ways. Focusing on the relationship between the literature of British imperialism and turn-of-the-century metropolitan... More

Farther Afield in the Study of Nature-Oriented Literature
Patrick D. Murphy

In the 1990s, the emerging field of ecocriticism—nature-sensitive literary studies—began to establish and define itself. Arguing that the field has matured to the point where it requires a thorough critique and new theoretical underpinnings, Patrick D. Murphy suggests a variety of ways ecocriticism... More

On Exhibit
Victorians and Their Museums Barbara J. Black

Why did the Victorians collect with such a vengeance and exhibit in museums? Focusing on this key nineteenth-century enterprise, Barbara J. Black illuminates British culture of the period by examining the cultural power that this collecting and exhibiting possessed. Through its museums, she argues... More

The Return of the Repressed Doreen Fowler

Doreen Fowler's Faulkner: The Return of the Repressed is only the second book-length pychoanalytic interpretation of Faulkner's oeuvre and the first to be predicated on Lacanian theory as modified by Kristeva and Chodorow. Fowler exposes psychic conflicts that drive Faulkner's fiction and posits... More

Women and British Aestheticism
Talia Schaffer, ed. Kathy Alexis Psomiades, ed.

This collection of essays introduces new scholarship on the women novelists, poets, fiction writers, essayists, lifestyle experts, and critics who played a central and long-forgotten role in the history of aestheticism, the late nineteenth-century movement associated with "art for art's sake."... More

Plotting Women
Alison Case

Is there such a thing as a "woman's voice" in fiction? In the context of feminist criticism, this question is far more problematic than critics once believed. Beyond asking whether certain themes, forms, or styles are linked primarily to women writers, one can examine how womanhood is defined by a... More

The Queen and Victorian Writers Gail Turley Houston

Queens, by definition, embody a historical contradiction between femininity and power. Queen Victoria, whose strength and longevity defined an age, possessed immense cultural as well as political power, even becoming a writer herself.This cultural sovereignty, argues Gail Turley Houston, in the... More

The Poetics of Disappointment
Wordsworth to Ashbery Laura Quinney

The Poetics of Disappointment offers nothing less than a complete revision of our understanding of romantic poetry. By examining the lineage of Wordsworth, Shelley, Stevens, and Ashbery, Quinney challenges Harold Bloom's identification of major romantic poems as "crisis lyrics" and questions his... More

Harlem Gallery and Other Poems of Melvin B Tolson
Melvin B. Tolson, Jr. Edited by Raymond Nelson. Introduction by Rita Dove

The poet Melvin B. Tolson (1898-1966) was once recognized as one of black America's most important modernist voices. Playful, fluent, and intellectually sophisticated, his poems stirred up significant praise, and some lively criticism, during his lifetime but have been out of print for decades and... More

From the Temple to the Castle
An Architectural History of British Literature, 1660–1760 Lee Morrissey

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The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry
Joanne V. Gabbin, ed.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETRY, with its wellsprings in jazz and vernacular culture and its inescapable political dimension, stands among the most important bodies of literary work of the twentieth century. This collection of essays and six lively interviews with practicing poets, arising from the now-... More

The Correspondence of William James
William and Henry 1890-1894 William James. Edited by Ignas K. Skrupskelis and Elizabeth M. Berkeley

The chief event of the period is the publication of the long-awaited Principles of Psychology, which produced congratulatory and critical letters from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Christine Ladd Franklin, Shadworth Hollway Santayana, James Mark Baldwin, and others. James also devoted much effort to... More

The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader
Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Edited by Ann J. Lane

THE CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN READER is an anthology of fiction by one of America's most important feminist writers. Probably best known as the author of "The Yellow Wallpaper," in which a woman is driven mad by chauvinist psychiatry, Gilman wrote numerous other short stories and novels reflecting... More

Caribbean Shadows and Victorian Ghosts
Women's Writing and Decolonization Kathleen J. Renk

IN AN ERA of social chaos, religious skepticism, and postrevolutionary fear, the idea of the stable middle-class family acquired a mythical status in nineteenth-century England. This image of the traditional family--based upon the supposed natural superiority of white elders--also served as a... More

Cosmopolitan Criticism
Oscar Wilde's Philosophy of Art Julia Prewitt Brown

CALLING OSCAR WILDE'S philosophy of art his "most elusive legacy," Brown attempts to define Wilde's conception of what art is and what it is not, of what the experience of art means in the modern world, and of the contradictory relations between the work of art and the sphere of everyday ethics.... More

Privacy and Print
Reading and Writing in Seventeenth-Century England Cecile M. Jagodzinski

AMIDST THE OTHER religious, political, and technological changes in seventeenth-century England, the ready availability of printed books was the most significant sign of the disappearance of old ways of thinking. The ability to read granted new independence as the interactions between reader, text... More

A Blue Moon in Poorwater
Cathryn Hankla

Cathryn Hankla's first novel is an engaging coming-of-age story set in the small Appalachian mining town of Poorwater, Virginia. It is the summer of 1968, and the narrator, inquisitive ten-year-old Dorie Parks, is getting ready to enter fifth grade when her errant older brother Willie returns to... More

Mad Travelers
Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses Ian Hacking

"It all began one morning last July when we noticed a young man of twenty-six crying in his bed in Dr. Pitre's ward. He had just come from a long journey on foot and was exhausted, but that was not the cause of his tears. He wept because he could not prevent himself from departing on a trip when... More

Deep Talk
Reading African-American Literary Names Debra Walker King

The process of naming is a transformative act that inherently imparts meaning, whether it be through the conscious use of a familiar historical or allegorical appellation or through the creation of a new word. Critics have often noted the importance of names and naming in African-American... More

The Abridged Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Denise D. Knight, ed.

One of the leading intellectuals of first-wave feminism, Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1860-1935] was a prolific socialist writer and lecturer. Nearly forgotten in the years following her death, she has been the subject of renewed interest and appreciation in recent decades. Drawing from her previous... More

Reshaping the Sexes in Sense and Sensibility
Moreland Perkins

Moreland Perkins's Reshaping the Sexes in "Sense and Sensibility" is an accessible yet sophisticated exploration of Jane Austen's revision and reversal of sexual stereotypes. He argues that Austen's first published novel embodies her most sustained effort at correcting dominant concepts of gender... More