These essays address a broad variety of issues faced by editors, textual critics, and others who are interested in the writing and revision processes involved in the development of literary texts. Individual chapters focus on the writing experiences of individual Victorian authors, such as Browning, Carlyle, Tennyson, Arnold, Henley, and Yeats; study the problems facing authors of texts that are transformed from serial-to-book versions like Conrad, Hardy, and Patmore; or explore the relationships between the composition and revision practices of artists who work in two modalities, the Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti and Morris, as well as Beatrix Potter, for example.
Several of these articles also illustrate the problems involved in viewing a text as either a private or public work: they offer insights into individual authors’ personal motivations or the influence of public forces at a particular moment in the continually adjusting interplay of all such possible sources of revision.
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The Power of Blackness is a profound and searching reinterpretation of Hawthorne, Poe and Melville, the three classic American masters of fiction. It is also an experiment in critical method, an exploration of the myth-making process by way of what may come to be known as literary iconology.
The Romance of William Morris traces the intellectual, emotional, and literary development of Morris, a representative Victorian, as he explores the classic themes of love, fate, and death -- chiefly through the genre of romance. Professor Silver points out the ways in which Morris’s personal and social vision, interwoven in his literary work, contributes to his art, design, and social theory, as well as to some of the major intellectual and artistic movements of his time.
Developing a perspective on Victorian culture as the breeding ground for early theories of the unconscious and the divided psyche, The Demon and the Damozel: Dynamics of Desire in the Works of Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti offers a new reading of these eminent Victorian siblings’ literature and visual arts.