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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 Circus and Victorian Society



Brenda Assael

It was during the Victorian era that the circus, whose origins lay in the fairground world, emerged as a commercialized entertainment that we would recognize today. This development was intricately tied to a widespread demand for circus acts by a broad range of classes. In The Circus and Victorian... More


The Letters of Christina Rossetti

1887-1894


Christina Rossetti. Edited by Antony H. Harrison

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894) has come to be considered one of the major poets--not just one of the major women poets—of the Victorian era, eclipsing her famous brother. Leading critics have demonstrated how studies of Rossetti’s work, her daily life, her relationships with the Pre-Raphaelites,... More


Acting Naturally

Victorian Theatricality and Authenticity


Lynn M. Voskuil

In Acting Naturally Lynn Voskuil argues that Victorian Britons saw themselves as "authentically performative," a paradoxical belief that focused their sense of vocation as individuals, as a public, and as a nation. Rather than confirming the customary view of Victorian England as fundamentally... More


Frances Power Cobbe

Victorian Feminist, Journalist, Reformer


Sally Mitchell

Frances Power Cobbe (1822–1904) is the most important nineteenth-century British writer and activist not heretofore treated in a full-length biography. An independent professional woman, she worked to improve conditions for delinquent girls and for the sick poor, promoted university degrees for... More


Emily Davies

Collected Letters, 1861-1875


Emily Davies. Edited by Ann B. Murphy and Deirdre Raftery

Sarah Emily Davies (1830–1921) lived and crusaded during a time of profound change for education and women’s rights in England. At the time of her birth, women’s suffrage was scarcely open to discussion, and not one of England’s universities (there were four) admitted women. By the time of her... More


Manufacturing Culture

Vindications of Early Victorian Industry


Joseph Bizup

From Robert Southey to William Morris, British social critics in the Romantic tradition consistently stigmatized industry as a threat to aesthetic or humanistic "culture." Joseph Bizup argues that early Victorian advocates of industry sought to resist the power inherent in this opposition by... More


The Serious Pleasures of Suspense

Victorian Realism and Narrative Doubt


Caroline Levine

Scholars have long recognized that narrative suspense dominates the formal dynamics of nineteenth-century British fiction, both high and low. But few have asked why suspense played such a crucial role in the Victorian novel—and in Victorian culture more broadly. The Serious Pleasures of Suspense... More


Victorian Poetry As Cultural Critique

The Politics of Performative Language


E. Warwick Slinn

In recent cultural studies, poetry has become something of a neglected genre. Warwick Slinn seeks to reverse that trend and argues that a fundamental continuity between the meaning of a poetic trope and the social function of language can be established through speech act theory—specifically... More


Vernon Lee

A Literary Biography


Vineta Colby

Vernon Lee, born Violet Paget in 1856 to English parents who lived on the Continent, bridged two worlds and many cultures. She was a Victorian by birth but lived into the second quarter of the twentieth century. Her chosen home was Italy, but she spent part of every year in England, where she... More


The Victorian Illustrated Book



Richard Maxwell, ed.

Throughout the nineteenth century, but most intensely in the reign of Queen Victoria, England and Scotland produced an unprecedented range of extraordinary illustrated books. Images in books became a central feature of Victorian culture. They were at once prestigious and popular—a kind of... 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 Private Rod

Marital Violence, Sensation, and the Law in Victorian Britain


Marlene Tromp

Sensation novels, a genre characterized by scandalous narratives and emotionally and socially provocative dialogue and plots, had their heyday in England in the 1860s and 1870s, in the midst of growing concern about codes of behavior in marriage. Largely excluded from the academic canon of the late... More


A Queer Chivalry

The Homoerotic Asceticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins


Julia F. Saville

The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins was a practitioner of strict asceticism in its broadest definition--the refusal of physical pleasure or comfort in the interests of moral or spiritual gain. As a result, his commentators have felt obliged to take a stand approving or disapproving of this... More


Essays and Reviews

The 1860 Text and Its Reading


Victor Shea and William Whitla, eds.

Essays and Reviews is a collection of seven articles that appeared in 1860, sparking a Victorian culture war that lasted for at least a decade. With pieces written by such prominent Oxford and Cambridge intellectuals as Benjamin Jowett, Mark Pattison, Baden Powell, and Frederick Temple (later... More


The Forgotten Female Aesthetes

Literary Culture in Late-Victorian England


Talia Schaffer

Most critics of aestheticism focus on the Yellow Book, the glossy Victorian journal with the shocking yellow cover that counted among its contributors Aubrey Beardsley and Max Beerbohm. But one of the best-known aesthetes, Oscar Wilde, launched his own magazine, the Woman's World. The audience for... 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


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


Royalties

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 Genius of John Ruskin

Selections from His Writings


John D. Rosenberg. Foreword by Herber F. Tucker

No figure among the Victorians surpasses John Ruskin in magnitude of genius, modernity of message, or mastery of prose. Yet for the first half-century after his death in 1900, his genius lay largely undiscovered. First published in 1963, John D. Rosenberg's The Genius of John Ruskin aimed to make... More


Lost Saints

Silence, Gender, and Victorian Literary Canonization


Tricia A. Lootens

In Lost Saints Tricia Lootens argues that parallels betwee literary and religious canons are far deeper than has yet been realized. She presents the ideological underpinnings of Victorian literary canonization and the general processes by which it occurred and discloses the unacknowledged traces of... More


Victorian Poets and Romantic Poems

Intertextuality and Ideology


Antony H. Harrison

[Book description not available]


Victorian Women Poets

Writing Against the Heart


Angela Leighton

This book recovers and explores an important tradition of nineteenth-century women's poetry from Felicia Hemans to Charlotte Mew. Angela Leighton not only discusses the work of neglected poets such as Augusta Webster and "Michael Field," but also charts the development of women's poetry from... More


Journal of Emily Shore



Barbara Timm Gates, ed.

Emily Shore's journal is the unique self-representation of a prodigious young Victorian woman. From July 5, 1831, at the age of eleven, until June 24, 1839, two weeks before her death from consumption, Margaret Emily Shore recorded her reactions to the world around her. She wrote of political... More


The Romance of the Harem



Anna Leonowens. Edited with an Introduction by Susan Morgan

[Book description not available]


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