The Victorian Novel of Adulthood · Plot and Purgatory in Fictions of Maturity · By Rebecca Rainof

In The Victorian Novel of Adulthood, Rebecca Rainof confronts the conventional deference accorded the bildungsroman as the ultimate plot model and quintessential expression of Victorian nation building. The novel of maturity, she contends, is no less important to our understanding of narrative, Victorian culture, and the possibilities of fiction.

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The Novel of the Future · By Anaïs Nin · Introduction by Deirdre Bair

In The Novel of the Future, Anaïs Nin explores the act of creation — in film, art, and dance as well as literature — to chart a new direction for the young artist struggling against what she perceived as the sterility, formlessness, and spiritual bankruptcy afflicting much of mid-twentieth-century fiction.

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Melodramatic Imperial Writing · From the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes · By Neil Hultgren

Melodrama is often seen as a blunt aesthetic tool tainted by its reliance on improbable situations, moral binaries, and overwhelming emotion, features that made it a likely ingredient of British imperial propaganda during the late nineteenth century. Yet, through its impact on many late-Victorian genres outside of the theater, melodrama developed a complicated relationship with British imperial discourse.

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Religious Imaginaries · The Liturgical and Poetic Practices of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, and Adelaide Procter · By Karen Dieleman

Religious Imaginaries explores liturgical practice as formative for how three Victorian women poets imagined the world and their place in it and, consequently, for how they developed their creative and critical religious poetics.

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Charity and Condescension · Victorian Literature and the Dilemmas of Philanthropy · By Daniel Siegel

Charity and Condescension explores how condescension, a traditional English virtue, went sour in the nineteenth century, and considers the ways in which the failure of condescension influenced Victorian efforts to reform philanthropy and to construct new narrative models of social conciliation.

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Metaphor and the Slave Trade in West African Literature · By Laura T. Murphy

Metaphor and the Slave Trade provides compelling evidence of the hidden but unmistakable traces of the transatlantic slave trade that persist in West African discourse. Through an examination of metaphors that describe the trauma, loss, and suffering associated with the commerce in human lives, this book shows how the horrors of slavery are communicated from generation to generation.

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Dance of Life · The Novels of Zakes Mda in post-apartheid South Africa · By Gail Fincham

Dance of Life examines the five novels Zakes Mda—novelist, painter, composer, theater director and filmmaker—has written since South Africa’s transition to democracy: Ways of Dying (1995), The Heart of Redness (2000), The Madonna of Excelsior (2002), The Whale Caller (2005), and Cion (2007).

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In the Shadows of Romance · Romantic Tragic Drama in Germany, England, and France · By Jeffrey N. Cox

In the Shadows of Romance examines the role of the tragedy in Germany, England and France during the romantic literary period. Cox responds to the prevailing dismissive view of the romantic tragic drama, effectively arguing for its place as expressions of the whole romantic movement and as a vital chapter in the history of Western literature.

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Meter Matters · Verse Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century · Edited by Jason David Hall

Across the nineteenth century, meter mattered—in more ways and to more people than we might well appreciate today. For the period’s poets, metrical matters were a source of inspiration and often vehement debate. And the many readers, teachers, and pupils encountered meter and related topics in both institutional and popular forms.

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Indian Angles · English Verse in Colonial India from Jones to Tagore · By Mary Ellis Gibson

In Indian Angles, Mary Ellis Gibson provides a new historical approach to Indian English literature. Gibson shows that poetry, not fiction, was the dominant literary genre of Indian writing in English until 1860 and that poetry written in colonial situations can tell us as much or even more about figuration, multilingual literacies, and histories of nationalism than novels can.

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Dancing out of Line · Ballrooms, Ballets, and Mobility in Victorian Fiction and Culture · By Molly Engelhardt

Dancing out of Line transports readers back to the 1840s, when the craze for social and stage dancing forced Victorians into a complex relationship with the moving body in its most voluble, volatile form.

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Making Words Matter · The Agency of Colonial and Postcolonial Literature · By Ambreen Hai

Why should Salman Rushdie describe his truth telling as an act of swallowing impure “haram” flesh from which the blood has not been drained? Why should Rudyard Kipling cast Kim, the imperial child–agent, as a body/text written upon and damaged by empire? Why should E. M. Forster evoke through the Indian landscape the otherwise unspeakable racial or homosexual body in his writing?

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Making a Man · Gentlemanly Appetites in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel · By Gwen Hyman

Gruel and truffles, wine and gin, opium and cocaine. Making a Man: Gentlemanly Appetites in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel addresses the role of food, drink, and drugs in the conspicuously consuming nineteenth century in order to explore the question of what makes a man of a certain class in novels of the period.

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Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture · The Making of a Legend · Edited by Joseph Bristow

Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legend explores the meteoric rise, sudden fall, and legendary resurgence of an immensely influential writer’s reputation from his hectic 1881 American lecture tour to recent Hollywood adaptations of his dramas. Always renowned—if not notorious—for his fashionable persona, Wilde courted celebrity at an early age. Later, he came to prominence as one of the most talented essayists and fiction writers of his time.

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Praising It New · The Best of the New Criticism · Edited by Garrick Davis · Foreword by William Logan

Marked by a rigorously close textual reading, detached from biographical or other extratextual material, New Criticism was the dominant literary theory of the mid-twentieth century. Since that time, schools of literary criticism have arisen in support of or in opposition to the approach advocated by the New Critics. Nonetheless, the theory remains one of the most important sources for groundbreaking criticism and continues to be a controversial approach to reading literature.

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