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Literary Criticism

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

From the Temple to the Castle

An Architectural History of British Literature, 1660–1760 Lee Morrissey

[Book description not available]

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

Story Line

Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail Ian Marshall

Many hikers on the Appalachian Trail take books as companions, in spite of the extra weight in their packs, but Ian Marshall carries the habit to new literary, ecological, and spiritual heights. In the more than twenty years he's been hiking the trail, Marshall, known on the AT as Evergreen, has... More

Haunted Bodies

Gender and Southern Texts Anne Goodwyn Jones and Susan V. Donaldson, eds.

In Haunted Bodies, Anne Goodwyn Jones and Susan V. Donaldson have brought together some of our most highly regarded southern historians and literary critics to consider race, gender, and texts through three centuries and from a wealth of vantage points. Works as diversive as eighteenth-century... More

Writing and Postcolonialism in the Early Republic

Edward Watts

Writing and Postcolonialism in the Early Republic is the first book-length analysis of early American literature through the lens of postcolonial theory. Although the United States represented a colonizing presence that displaced indigenous peoples and exported imperial culture, American colonists... 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

Auden and Documentary in the 1930s

Marsha Bryant

W.H. Auden established his literary reputation in a decade framed by economic depression and global war. He emerged as the defining literary voice of the 1930s while the documentary genre emerged as the decade's principal discourse of social reality. In Auden and Documentary in the 1930s, Marsha... More

The Shad Treatment

Garrett Epps. Foreword by Paul M. Gaston

[Book description not available]

Writing Home

American Women Abroad, 1830–1920 Mary Suzanne Schriber

In Writing Home, Mary Suzanne Schriber offers the first comprehensive analysis of the large body of U.S. women's travel literature written betwen the pre-Civil War years and World War I. Examining almost a century's worth of published book-length accounts, ranging from travel diaries of ordinary... More

Rational Meaning

A New Foundation for the Definition of Words and Supplementary Essays Laura Jackson and Schuyler B. Jackson

Existing only in manuscript since the 1940s but enjoying an underground reputation among friends and advocates, this primary document by one of the most original and influential of American poets and thinkers is now being published as Rational Meaning, Laura (Riding) Jackson's testament of the... More

Subject to Negotiation

Reading Feminist Criticism and American Women's Fictions Elaine Neil Orr

In Subject to Negotiation, Elaine Neil Orr proposes negotiation as both a state of consciousness and a significant movement for women writers as well as feminist critics. Challenging the "subversive" model of feminist criticism, she argues for the importance of negotiation for feminist practice... More