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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


Evangelical Gothic
The English Novel and the Religious War on Virtue from Wesley to Dracula Christopher Herbert

Evangelical Gothic explores the bitter antagonism that prevailed between two defining institutions of nineteenth-century Britain: Evangelicalism and the popular novel. Christopher Herbert begins by retrieving from near oblivion a rich anti-Evangelical polemical literature in which the great... More


Reading with the Senses in Victorian Literature and Science
David Sweeney Coombs

The nineteenth-century sciences cleaved sensory experience into two separate realms: the bodily physics of sensation and the mental activity of perception. This division into two discrete categories was foundational to Victorian physics, physiology, and experimental psychology. As David Sweeney... More


Parting Words
Victorian Poetry and Public Address Justin A. 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
Victorian Fiction, Science, and Gender Michael Tondre

The Physics of Possibility traces the sensational birth of mathematical physics in Victorian literature, science, and statistics. As scientists took up new breakthroughs in quantification, they showed how all sorts of phenomena—the condition of stars, atoms, molecules, and nerves—could be... More


Pirating Fictions
Ownership and Creativity in Nineteenth-Century Popular Culture 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
Sado-Erotics and Heavenly Marriage in Victorian Religious Poetry 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
Late-Victorian Culture and the Woman of Letters 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
Fors Clavigera and the Crisis of Victorian Liberalism 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
A History 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
Courtship, Class, and Gender in Victorian England 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
The Geography of Class and Crime in Victorian London 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


The Gypsy-Bachelor of Manchester
The Life of Mrs. Gaskell's Demon Felicia Bonaparte

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Modified Rapture
Comedy in W. S. Gilbert's Savoy Operas Alan Fischler

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Tennyson
The Muses' Tug-of-War Daniel Albright

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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


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


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


Matthew Arnold and the Betrayal of Language
David G. Riede

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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


The Vulgarization of Art
The Victorians and Aesthetic Democracy 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


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


Culture and Irony
Studies in Joseph Conrad's Major Novels 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


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


Paradise Dislocated
Morris, Politics, Art 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


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